SAN FRANCISCO - This weekend's Pride events and parade are some of many mass events that San Francisco is tasked with on a regular basis. But, beyond any usual expected crimes of opportunity, the LGBTQ community also suffers from lingering issue of disrespect and hate born violence. Nonetheless, the show is on.
(Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
It was a sunny, warm day in San Francisco's Castro, a perfect day to relaunch a full scale Pride celebration akin to pre-pandemic days for locals and visitors from afar.
"Very excited. It's about time. COVID struck us really, really hard and we're glad to be back you know. We needed this Pride," said San Franciscan Walter P.
"Wanted to be here to celebrate pride and his birthday and love San Francisco," said San Diegan Pride visitor Dave Atkinson.
There will be many events and likely including some protests, which is both expected and prepared for. "We've canceled all days off for this weekend, so we will be heavily deployed as a result of the cancellation of these days off and we make adjustments as we need to," said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott.
As much as anything, the rainbow flag stands for unity. And, where is there a better place in the world to unite than here in San Francisco City Hall during Pride Week.
Sixty-five couples, straight and gay, made reservations to marry in City Hall. That's why a small army of deputy marriage commissioners was on hand in a place and on a day that was joyous for everyone.
"The fact that we can celebrate with LGBTQ community today is really kind of exciting too," said Madeline, who was soon to wed her fiancé, David.
It's joy for those performing the marriage ceremonies too. "For us to come in here and participate with these couples and help join them in love it so wonderful," said Deputy Marriage Commissioner John Pleskach, also known as ‘The Love Judge.’
I just think it's great to pass the miracle on. And, besides, let's be real. We're feeling threatened in some political circles," said Deputy Marriage Commissioner Gabriel Brieitzke.
That is something especially on the minds of these newlywed women.
"More than ever we want to show our gratitude to show our thanks and gratitude those who fought to this point and know we have to keep fighting," said one woman getting married to another woman. "And, especially this morning and so, getting married this weekend is both, fulfilling and empowering," said the woman's partner.
Besides the festivities, it was clear at City Hall and the Castro that the Roe v. Wade reversal had many LGBTQ folks fearing that they too might be on the legal rights hit list.
For more on SF Pride events, click here.