WAUSAU, Wis (WSAU) A crowd of several hundred took part in Wausau's first "March For Equality", an event that lived on after the city's first gay pride parade was abruptly cancelled.
The March For Equality was organized in part because of comments from Wausau alderman David Nutting, who said his neighborhood was overwhelmingly opposed to parade. He urged residents to turn their backs on the marchers. He also said the parade celebrated deviant behavior.
Others took part in the March For Equality because of skepticism about the original gay pride parade's organizer. A man identified as Daxx Bouvier claimed to have spent $15,000 to organize the event. Many people in the local gay community said they didn't know who Bouvier was. A non-discript Facebook page identified Bouvier as living in California with a seasonal home in "Granite Peak, Wisconsin". WAOW-TV reports that a local man known as David Blake used the alias Daxx Bouvier when approaching several business in the area about supporting the parade.
Blake/Bouvier notified Wausau city officials on Thursday that they were withdrawing the application for a permit. The had never filed the necessary certificate of insurance with the city.
The March For Equality took place despite the parade's cancellation. A large, orderly group marched on the sidewalks from Marathon Park to the 400-Block downtown. At one point the march stretched from end to end of the bridge on Scott Street. This march did not need a permit since it did not take place on city streets.