Local pride event ramps up security after Orlando massacre

Published: Jun. 18, 2016 at 10:55 PM CDT
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With every sign and every step, people in Kearney made sure they weren't silenced at the third annual pride event.

One change from last year is the increased security, because of the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub last week.

"Safety and security is paramount to all of us," Lieutenant Michael Young of the Kearney Police Department said. "We all have a right and a need to feel safe in our communities."

People who attended the event said they should feel safe all the time.

"I don't feel like there should ever be a need for us to feel that there is someone that is going to hurt us," Samaria Scherbarth, a Kearney resident, said.

This is not the first time Scherbarth attended the event.

She believes there shouldn't be any hate against anyone.

"I think everyone should care about everyone and I think really that's what we are here to promote," Scherbarth said. "We want allies to be here and people that are apart of the community."

The theme for this year's event is "Equality Before the Law." Officials said this is the theme, because there are still a lot of changes that need to happen not only in the state, but in the world.

PFLAG Kearney hosted the event.

Officials said there's so much going on right now and the last thing people need to do is hate others for being themselves.

"We're all people and we're no different," PFLAG Kearney President Haley Kottmeyer said. "We work the same jobs and we live in the same community."

She added that there is a lot of work that needs to be done to make sure this world is a better place for everyone.

Next year's event will be around this time next year.

Event organizers encourage people to come and be part of a loving environment.