President of Delta Foundation Gary Van Horn resigns | LGBTQ | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

President of Delta Foundation Gary Van Horn resigns

Delta Foundation Board President Gary Van Horn resigned on Monday following a brief leave of absence from the organization. In December, Van Horn was charged with impersonating law enforcement.

The Delta Foundation, one of the city's most prominent LGBTQ organizations, released a statement on Monday announcing the changes and naming board member Jim Sheppard as interim board president and Marty Healey as chair of Pittsburgh Pride 2020.

"Founder and President Gary Van Horn, who was a volunteer, has resigned from his board position allowing new leadership to guide Delta into the next decade," reads the statement, which also notes that Delta has hired an independent law firm to investigate its activities over the years.

Sheppard told WESA the board “felt that in the best interest of the foundation and of Pittsburgh Pride to have a complete separation from Mr. Van Horn.”

The Delta Foundation and Van Horn have been longtime organizers of Pittsburgh Pride, an annual LGBTQ festival. In addition to his recent legal troubles, Van Horn's tenure was marked by consistent turmoil and controversy. Pittsburgh Pride has faced criticism over the years for its sponsorship from EQT, a fracking company that has donated to anti-LGBTQ politicians.

The friction within the organization led to the creation of People's Pride, a festival with more openly intersectional and diverse goals than Pittsburgh Pride, which has been criticized for its centering of cisgender and white people. The division between the two festivals was even the subject of a segment on The Daily Show over the summer.

In October, Van Horn announced that Pittsburgh Pride would be moving dates from June to July, and moving locations from Downtown streets to Point State Park to accommodate its growing attendance.