SAN FRANCISCO — On the steps of the same city hall where California’s first openly gay politician was once gunned down, an estimated million-strong gathering rocked to red-robed gospel singers belting out “Oh Happy Day” in the now legendary birthplace of the LGBT marriage movement, celebrating the miraculous march of history.
The crowd at the 45th annual SF Pride Celebration and Parade was notably young, confident and still a bit stunned about Friday’s momentous U.S. Supreme Court ruling that brought along a jubilance most could have never imagined. The once-in-a-lifetime significance of this march, on this day, in this city, swelled the crowds and the hearts united in a chant of “Love Wins!”
Americans marked Gay Pride Day this year with an extra measure of gusto, turning out en masse at Sunday’s festivities in New York and other cities to celebrate the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage across the country.
Two days after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry, Governor Andrew Cuomo kicked off the New York City celebration by officiating at the marriage of two men outside of the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village bar that is considered the birthplace of the U.S. gay rights movement.
“I want you to know I’m a little nervous today – it’s my first marriage,” Cuomo joked before marrying a couple in front of a crowd of several dozen onlookers
The Stonewall Inn, the Greenwich Village bar where resistance to a police raid touched off the modern gay rights movement, was made a New York City landmark on Tuesday, the first time a site has been named primarily because of its significance in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history.
“New York City’s greatness lies in its inclusivity and diversity,” Meenakshi Srinivasan, chairwoman of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, said before the unanimous vote. “The events at Stonewall were a turning point in the L.G.B.T. rights movement and in the history of our nation.”
Patrons fought back against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969, and the street protests that followed for several days are credited with galvanizing gay activism in New York and globally. The rebellion is commemorated with annual gay pride parades in hundreds of cities.
“Few sites anywhere in New York have the international resonance of Stonewall,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.
The vote came after a public hearing in which every speaker supported the landmark designation.