Pride in Baltimore
Today we took in Baltimore Pride and by stepping into Druid Hill Park, we stepped into a truly colourful, harmonious, proud group of 10,000 people supporting Baltimore Pride 2013, and I couldn’t have been prouder to be part of it.
Baltimore Pride was a festival of epic proportions today, and made history. ‘There’s a mass wedding,’ two very proud PFLAGS (Parents and Families of Lesbians and Gays) told me with excitement as we neared the entrance. This I had to witness and share.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake rocked up to officiate the mass wedding for same-sex couples. It was a statement of how far Maryland had come as a state toward equality.
Look, I know not all of America is comfortable with this. Not all of the UK is, but this is history and times, well they are a-changin’…..
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland, which organized the celebration, had announced last week that Rawlings-Blake would serve as grand marshal for the event in recognition of her support of gay rights, and, boy, did the crowd love her! They whooped and cheered her and shouted ‘we love you’ as she took to the stage (albeit 20 minutes late!).
Baltimore Pride can pat itself on the back for organizing this celebration – it was the first time for a mass same-sex wedding ceremony in the state and more than a dozen couples celebrated at Druid Hill Park today, with the local faith leaders and LGBT supporters cheering the officially named ‘WeDo Baltimore’ marriage event. If that’s not harmonious, I don’t know what is.
My favourite line of the day from the announcer on stage: ‘We want to thank everyone! Especially the straight people, because if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be here today!” 🙂
I overheard some people commenting that it would be a while before they saw this sort of thing in their state. It amazes me still how states can have such different laws on so many different things.
But whatever your view on same-sex marriage, today was an extraordinary, uplifting thing to behold, and a real sense of unity and pride swelled within the Baltimore crowd as history was made.
With faith leaders, politicians and members of the LGBT community standing side by side, it made me realise just how far we’ve come. My view? It’s definitely in the right direction.