Critics claim proposed Taylor event guideline is 'War on Christmas'

Critics are calling a guideline the Taylor City Council is considering a "war on Christmas."

Last weekend, there were two separate Christmas parades, one put on by the city and another by the Taylor Area Ministerial Alliance. TAMA has hosted the Christmas parade for years. 

Taylor Pride participated in the 2021 parade, but TAMA said that was due to "an unfortunate oversight."

While TAMA says there are no religious requirements for participating in the parade, participants should not contradict "traditional Biblical and family values."

Taylor Pride was not in TAMA's parade this year, but rather in the city's parade.

City Council postponed discussing the proposed guideline regarding event co-sponsorship requests Thursday.

According to the city's paperwork, a special event that wants co-sponsorship status has to be a nonprofit, which TAMA isn't because it's a group, not a single church.

The guidelines also say a co-sponsor can't discriminate based on a variety of factors, including race, religion, and sexual orientation.

Critics say they think this infringes on religious freedom.

"We have to stand up for Christmas. We have to fight back against attempts to punish and silence Christians especially at Christmastime," Jonathan Covey with Texas Values said.

"We respect the right of other groups to hold their beliefs and adhere to those. We would like to be able to hold our beliefs and still participate in the events the city sponsors," Jeff Ripple with TAMA said.

While the majority of people in public comment urged the city council to vote no on the proposed guidelines, a couple of people spoke supporting the city.

"I just wanted to thank you all because so many people going to this parade felt seen and protected for the first time in their lives in the city, and that is something to be incredibly proud of," one public commenter said. "I just want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for seeing these people who have been shunned by so many people that will stand up here at this podium tonight and do it again. You saw them, you protected them, and you recognized them, and I'm thankful."

Taylor Pride says: "The city of Taylor is quickly growing and becoming more diverse. We believe the city recognizes that change and is attempting to keep up with the change.  Many of the festivals and events happening around Taylor are new or changing due to the new dynamics of people coming into town. Even our own Pride Music and Art Festival required new policies and regulations that the city didn’t have preplanned. We believe this is the city working out new policies to ensure clear guidelines going forward for all city co-sponsored events."