Hundreds march for equality in Wausau - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds march for equality in Wausau

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Hundreds of people in Wausau stood together Saturday pushing for what they say is only fair.

The city's gay community took part in a "March for Equality."

Troy Mader, 20, of Wausau says he opened up about being gay last year.

"I lived my life in fear in Wausau a lot," said Mader. "But, you know, I met a lot of people who are like, why be someone who you're not?"

Mader joined others Saturday to march for equality.

"I'm really surprised on how many people actually came out," he said. "I'm actually quite grateful for that."

But this event had an odd beginning. Organizers put it together after questions were raised about another gay pride parade. A man supposedly named Daxx Bouvier organized it. But Newsline 9 found no evidence Bouvier even exists.

Then, this week, that gay pride parade was canceled.

"When it fell through, it was kinda actually a blessing in disguise," said Shannon Thomas, organizer of Saturday's march. "Since then we've been getting local, even national attention."

Several hundred people turned out for the march Saturday. Organizers say their message is simple.

"It should be one nation, one law," said Thomas. "All people should be treated equally."

The parade began at Marathon Park. People walked down Stewart Avenue toward downtown Wausau.

But several opponents of same-sex marriage gathered along the parade route as well, spreading their message.

"I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman," said Heath Tappe of Wausau. "I just want to stand up for what God has taught us in his word."

Parade marchers obviously disagree. But overall the march was fairly peaceful on both sides. It wrapped up at the city's 400 block with cheers and supporters launching balloons.

Wausau Police Lt. Todd Baeten said officers received one report of people involved in a verbal fight at the march, but that it had settled down by the time they arrived.

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