SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco's City Hall is back open for business after 15 months. The city is celebrating by raising the rainbow flag and resuming wedding ceremonies inside.
Weddings were an every-day occurrence here at City Hall, but for 15 months they were on hold. Now, with the Pride flag hoisted aloft from the mayor's balcony, San Francisco has started a celebration of love.
"We are marrying Madelyn and Indira today," said Mayor London Breed performing a marriage ceremony.
The once common sight of weddings in the rotunda are back. The happy couple said that after a year of lockdown, getting married is a life affirming step.
"Yeah, it's incredible, it's incredible. We feel lucky, blessed, thankful," said newlyweds Madelyn and Indira Carmona. "Really grateful to everyone in this city who's made this possible."
City Hall reopened just in time to celebrate Pride.
"On behalf of the city and county of San Francisco I as the mayor, declare the entire month of June Pride month in the city and county of San Francisco, " said Mayor Breed.
Even though the signature parade will not be happening, some in person events will be welcoming the public, including a film festival Friday and Saturday nights at oracle park.
"However, before the movies even begin, we are bringing the spirit of the Pride Parade to Oracle Park, so come on down," said SF Pride Organizer Fred Lopez. "There will be grand marshals, there will be drag, there will be performances, there will be the Dykes on Bikes. So, everything you are missing, you will see there."
Organizers say with all the fun that Pride represents, there is still a lot of work to do. Lawmakers and organizers speaking out about the importance of securing housing for aging members of the LGBTQ community, and protect transgender youth from what they say is an onslaught of discriminatory legislation.
"We need to show up for transgender kids and say that these bills do not determine your worth," said Imani Rupert-Gordon from the National Center for Lesbian Rights. "We need to show these beautiful trans kids that we are fighting for a world that doesn't just let them live but lets them strive."
Organizers for Pride this year say while it may look different, it will continue this year. And organizers are already saying they're working on a major celebration for Pride next year.