Pence Circle City IN Pride Festival Letter Draws Criticism

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ A letter from Gov. Mike Pence welcoming visitors to next week's Circle City IN Pride Festival is drawing criticism from Indiana's Democratic Party chairman because it never mentions the festival that's expected to draw tens of thousands of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and others to Indianapolis.
 
The conservative Republican governor's letter calls Indiana a “destination for conventions, festivals'' and other events but doesn't mention the Pride Festival.
 
Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody says Pence's letter falls “way short of showing true Hoosier Hospitality'' to festival participants.
 
The annual festival comes months after Indiana faced a national backlash over a religious objections law critics viewed as discriminatory.
 
Democratic state schools chief Glenda Ritz calls the festival “a great opportunity to meet new friends.'' She's expected to announce her gubernatorial bid Thursday in Indianapolis, followed by a second campaign event at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne on Friday.