RALEIGH (WTVD) --The 6th Annual Out! Raleigh on Fayetteville Street had record attendance Saturday. Organizers estimate more than 50,000 people attended the one day event this year.
Organizers believe this year's growth is from people showing their opposition to House Bill 2.
The LGBT festival featured dozens of rainbow flags, business and community vendors, and lots of music. Local minister Natasha Ostrom said she went to celebrate diversity.
Her booth displays a sign to show everyone she is against HB2.
"It's a very dangerous law that is also hurting a lot of people, and not just transgender folks either. It's a law that hurts everybody," Ostrom expressed. "It attacks multiple communities all at once. It's using fear of transgender people in order to drive through legislation that would have at least had more conversation before it was passed."
HB2 was quickly signed into state law in just one day. The law bans transgender people from using the bathroom with which they identify. Instead they have to use the restroom according their biological sex.
Read more about HB2 here
The Justice Department says HB2 violates sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Obama Administration has given the the state a Monday deadline to repeal the law or risk losing billions of dollars in federal funding.
Alyssa Zamierowski attended Saturday's festival. She hopes the state takes the Feds seriously.
"You have to do something that will cause enough of an impact to force their hand and make them change it," Zamierowski said.
House Bill 2 supporters disagree. Tami Fitzgerald with NC Values Coalition said those in favor of HB2 think the federal government is overreaching and changing the interpretation of the Civil Rights Act to force the state to repeal HB2.
"Families are concerned about the privacy and the safety of their children. They could care less about the money," Fitzgerald explained. "Our hope and admonition for the governor and for the General Assembly is to stand strong. The Obama administration has no right to take the position of redefining the term 'sex' to include gender identity. This will play out in the courts."
Gov. Pat McCrory plans to respond to the DOJ Monday. Read more about that here.
The LGBT Center of Raleigh says the dark side of the HB2 debate are threats of suicide in the transgender community. The LGBT center says this week they have received 130 calls from people seeking help.
Organizers say Saturday's celebration is to lift their spirits.
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