SEATTLE – From coast to coast Sunday millions of people celebrated LGBT pride.
Here in Seattle, as in places from New York to San Francisco, hundreds of thousands marched with community and labor allies cheering them on in a mass outpouring of unity and celebration.
Here, as in other places they raised some serious issues too including the need to step up the fight against AIDs and the need to deal with LGBT homelessness and suicide.
The downtown streets here were packed with crowds cheering and talking about the Friday Supreme Court decision that struck down any and all laws remaining in America that placed any types of restrictions on same sex marriage.
The managers of Wildrose, Seattle’s first lesbian bar, led the parade to the cheers of onlookers jammed along both sides of Fourth Avenue.
“The Court ruling was a big ‘yes’ to all the work done by so many for so many years,” said Johnny Karp, who walked hand in hand with his male partner through the Seattle Center that surrounds the city’s famous Space Needle. Karp, who said he and his partner would be marrying soon, declared: “There is no gay marriage anymore. There is only marriage.”
“Batman” skated around the park where the parade ended. “I’m the lighter, happier side of Batman,” he said as ten people sporting orange T-shirts emblazoned with “Pride Looks Good on You” cheered him on.
Laura, 64, said that she remembered that back when she came out the Supreme Court had upheld state laws against sodomy.
“Wow, have we come far,” she declared. “I’m so glad we didn’t go the route of those who said that fighting for marriage rights was going to far and I’m so glad we have a president like President Obama who has acted courageously, I think.”
Mike Barton, 21, came from Montana. “I’m gay and proud of it,” he said. “And this is a lot more fun than ever because of the Supreme Court decision this week.”
The city of Seattle itself was well represented at the parade. A city bus bearing the word “Pride” where its destination sign normally showed was cheered as it drove along the parade route. Lesbian and gay transit workers and their supporters waved to the crowds from inside the bus.
Five men wearing small briefs and five women wearing tiny bikinis rode atop a rented flat bed truck with a Scottish terrier that was happily wagging its tail. “We didn’t want to miss this,” one of the women said, “so we decided to have family beach day here at the parade.”
Photo: Seattle Pride Parade, Wildrose Facebook.