Pride parades were held across America today, just two days after the supreme Court’s landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 US states.
“They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” — Justice Anthony Kennedy
All of San Francisco was out in celebration today with the city’s largest-ever turnout for a Pride parade. More than one million spectators participated, compared with 100,000 last year.
San Franciscans love nothing more than a party that gives them an excuse to wear a costume (or go naked, which is legal at certain events like the Pride parade), and this year was no exception. Rainbow flags, headgear and tutus could be found everywhere on spectators of all ages, races and gender. Even Burger King handed out rainbow-colored paper crowns.
The court ruling made the celebration a victory party, and as a San Francisco local, I was thrilled to feel like part of history. I was far from alone. In the crowd, along with a huge turnout from the LGBT community, were families and friends of LGBT as well as Americans and international visitors celebrating the system of democracy.
There was a common theme among everyone I spoke with that matches my own feelings, and it transcends gay rights and even love: Our system worked. Democracy worked. Our system of checks and balances worked. People got to vote in their own states, and their vote counted. But the top law in the land gets the final word, and it’s that our Constitution was specifically designed to protect the rights of everyone — regardless of race, creed or sexual orientation.
I am not gay. People I love are gay, but as far as I know, none were prevented from getting married. So why did I support this cause and why did I celebrate? Because next time it could be me in the crosshairs. Next time someone might decide that redheads can’t marry, or that women have no choice in who they marry, or any other cause that might hurt me. And if I don’t stand up for the system now when it doesn’t affect me, who will stand up for me when it does? At the end of the day, that’s why our system works. That’s American Pride.