April 24, 2013Dear Tim,I must first start by saying that we have nothing but respect for you. You have been alongtime supporter of Pride events and are clearly a respected and well-known member of the LGBTQ community. We also deeply respect credible animal rights groups, localhumane shelters and other important organizations, such as Georgia Aquarium, whichtruly do great work on behalf of animals. At the core, your letter is unfortunately the latest one produced as part of anorchestrated and highly misleading media campaign conducted against Georgia Aquarium by PETA as part of its stated anti-zoo-and-aquarium agenda. Sadly, they havetargeted Atlanta Pride and our annual event out of the hundreds of events held atGeorgia Aquarium each year. While we respect the right of all individuals, includingPETA, to voice their opinions, they are not entitled to manufacture their own facts. Itremains astonishing as to why an organization proclaiming itself as one of the nation’slargest animal rights groups would continually dilute its platform by propagatingmisinformation. At the receipt of your letter, it is very discouraging to see that they arecontinuing to misinform their longtime celebrity supporters, in what is seems to be anopportunistic publicity stunt.Over the last two years, individuals associated with PETA have given a distorted andinaccurate portrayal of the Atlanta Pride event at Georgia Aquarium and madeinappropriate accusations based more on their own anti-aquarium agenda than on fact.They have accused Georgia Aquarium of subjecting the animals in its care to harmfulmusic at the kickoff event for the Atlanta Pride Festival. They have also mischaracterizedthe event itself, describing it as more of an all-night rave than the friendly eveningcocktail mixer that it is in reality. Unfortunately, they have recruited a few high-profile,well-intentioned but misinformed supporters from the LGBTQ community – none of whom have ever attended this event - to add much-needed credibility to their campaign.The underlying accusation is that Georgia Aquarium – one of the world’s leadingaquariums, boasting a staff of dedicated and accomplished marine biologists, scientistsand experts in the care of animals – regularly subjects its animals to intolerable noiselevels in the name of profit. In the opinion of Atlanta Pride, nothing could be further fromthe truth.Georgia Aquarium has been a great partner for both our community and for the AtlantaPride Committee. They have embraced our kick-off event, now in its fifth year. As youcan imagine, we at Atlanta Pride have worked closely with Aquarium officials over theyears, and have met and interacted with their leadership and their animal care team.They been more than forthright about any and all concerns voiced by the general public,as well as animal rights extremist groups.