— The Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA), a musical organization comprised of marching and concert bands from across the United States and around the world, has once again been selected from more than 2,800 bands to perform for President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joseph Biden during the Presidential Inaugural Parade on Jan. 21.
The LGBA received more than 30 letters of support from senators, congressmen, congresswomen, and local representatives throughout the United States including Sen. Al Franken (Minn.), Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), U.S. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand (N.Y.), Congressman Ed Pastor (Ariz.), Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (Fla.), Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak (N.J.), and Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (R.I.).
Locally the effort was supported by a letter from Indianapolis City-County Councilman Zach Adamson.
This will be the second time the LGBA has marched in an inaugural parade, having made history as the first gay and lesbian group to march in a presidential inaugural parade for Obama in 2009. In addition, the LGBA previously performed as part of both the 1993 and '97 inaugural celebrations for President Bill Clinton, as well as in major events both nationally and abroad.
The 215-piece LGBA band will be comprised of members of its bands, orchestras, and cheer squads from 27 states. They will join groups from across the country as well as from the armed forces in the historic parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, which follows Obama's swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the Capitol.
Local representation will come from nine members of the Pride of Indy Bands, based in Indianapolis since 2005, who will join the combined group.
"We are proud to represent all of Indianapolis in the parade and will be marching with the Circle City in our hearts," Pride of Indy President Bill Leschorn said in a press release.
The LGBA, founded in Chicago in 1982 by seven member bands, has grown to 37 member organizations in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.