Monday, June 25, 2007


North America's Big 4 Celebrate Gay Pride

They danced, they gyrated, they flexed and they showed their political clout a the gay communities in New York, Toronto, Chicago and San Francisco marched to the tune of LGBT liberation on Sunday.

On the sidelines crowds estimated at close to a million watched in New York and Toronto with between 300 and 600 thousand on the streets in Chicago and San Francisco.

For marchers in New York and San Francisco marriage was on everyone's mind.

Legislation to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry has passed the Assemblies in California and New York, but is unlikely to be enacted in either state this year.

In New York the Republican-controlled Senate has vowed not to allow the bill to come to a vote. The bill has the support of Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

Gay activists had a message for lawmakers who oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds: Not all faiths oppose gay rights.

The parade down Fifth Avenue was led by Religious groups including Christians, Jews and Buddhists.

"We stand for a progressive religious voice," said Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of New York City's Congregation Beth Simchat Torah. "Those who use religion to advocate an anti-gay agenda I believe are blaspheming God's name."

In California, the sticking point is Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger who has said he would veto the bill if it passes the state Senate.

The issue of gay marriage is also before California Supreme Court with oral arguments expected later this year.

Stuart Gaffney and John Lewis, plaintiffs in the marriage equality lawsuit and leaders of Marriage Equality USA, will appear along with four generations of their family, as Community Grand Marshals for this year’s LGBT Pride Parade in San Francisco.

Prior to the start of Sunday's march in San Francisco, Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of Democratic presidential contender John Edwards, was the keynote speaker at a Pride Breakfast for the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club and announced her support for gay marriage.

"I don't know why someone else's marriage has anything to do with me,'' Edwards said at a news conference before the parade. ``I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage.''

That position puts her at odds with her husband. The former North Carolina Senator says he opposes " any form of discrimination,'' and although he supports civil unions opposes same-sex marriage.

In Toronto, where same-sex marriage is legal - as it is across Canada - the city kept its marriage bureau open throughout the weekend. Several dozen couples, many from the US were wed.

With full civil rights achieved the city's pride parade was a festival followed by a street party in the gay village that went on through the evening.

In Chicago one of the biggest highlights of gay pride was the city's new LGBT Community Center.

The $20-million complex, on the city's North Side, near Wrigley Field, will offer educational, recreational and social services along with theater events and social functions. Newscenter Staff


RIC said...

"Those who use religion to advocate an anti-gay agenda I believe are blaspheming God's name."

When am I going to hear such words from a religious leader around here?
How come Jewish religious leaders can be so progressive?
What went wrong with Christianity?

Congrats on this great post, dear Don! What a great job you're doing!
Thank you so very much!
Um abra├žo! :-)

BostonPobble said...

That is actually my biggest complaint with people who claim religious doctrine as a way to oppose same-sex marriages. *MY* religion has no problem with it. Don't use the word "religion" when what is meant is "Christian."

I missed both the Boston and Seattle parades this year. :(