S/O and I dropped in on the Pride parade in West Hollywood this afternoon. Last year's parade was held just a few weeks after the California Supreme Court cleared the way for same sex marriages to be performed. The crowd was huge and the mood was celebratory. This year's post Prop 8 pride celebration was more about determination and organization. Yes, the GLBT community in California suffered a setback as far as same sex marriage is concerned, but we could still gather and celebrate the strides and rights that we've achieved and will continue to achieve in the long term. The weather was beautiful, but more than anything the thing that struck me at today's parade is that we live in a pretty freaking great country! A passel of Christian protesters gathered (as they do every year at every Pride celebration) and broadcast their belief that those of us celebrating our Pride were destined to burn in hell. Most people just left them alone and ignored them, a few walked up and confronted them verbally, but they were allowed to be there and and we were allowed to be there.
When you think about it, that's a pretty amazing thing!!!
I was in NYC last year and there was a group protesting the Israeli bombing in Gaza. As we observed the protest outside the Rockerfeller Center a man in a group of foreign tourists said, "They can do that here. They can protest and it is peaceful. That is what is great in America."
Today made me realize once again, that he's right!!! That is!!!