As gay pride month came to a close huge
crowds gathered in San Francisco and New York to celebrate gay
marriage victories. Crowds attending Columbus' gay pride parade and
festival celebrated along with them.
San Francisco's gay pride parade felt
more like a wedding march as Californians celebrated their newfound
right to marry. In New York a parade route down 5th
Avenue filled with an estimated 1 million people. The star of the
parade was Governor David Paterson who had signed an executive order
directing state agencies to recognize valid gay marriages performed
Counter that with Ohio where a 2006
constitutional ban on gay marriage appears to have stunted the gay
rights movement and you would expect people attending Columbus'
parade to be cynical.
Yet, hope has a strange way of
Floats, marching bands, and Dykes on Bikes made their way down High Street on Saturday for the enjoyment of an
estimated 115,000 paradegoers. Afterwards, a festival at
Bicentennial park provided entertainment, food and GLBT information.
Speaking with people along the parade
route and at the festival, the outlook for Ohio gays remained upbeat.
Johnathan was handing out safer sex
kits to the crowd at the festival. He said he felt gay marriage
would come to Ohio and pointed to an Obama Pride sticker when asked
“People in our country are waking up
to the notion that we cannot run the government on ideology alone,”
said Scott, who was attending the parade with friend Brad. “[Denying
marriage to gay couples] is an unusual form of discrimination.”
Girlfriends Sara and Kelsee had
traveled from Kentucky to attend the festival. Both were in
agreement that a new president with a new outlook offered hope for
In fact, everyone asked was optimistic
that Ohio would catch up to California and New York.
About 4:30PM people began to disperse
when strong winds and rain hampered the outdoor event.
Back on High Street - Columbus' gay
district - a gay couple sat in a booth along the wall at the
Northstar restaurant. They were tired and wet, but still appeared
happy and hopeful as they dined.