Justice Soul

“Real Mormons Love Everyone!” – SF Gay Pride 2013, Photo Feast

Sven Eberlein
Written by Sven Eberlein

You know you’ve come a long way in the fight for equality when the people you come across at the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco are these guys.

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On the right is Mitch Mayne, one of the driving forces behind reconciling Mormons with the LGBT community post Prop 8. Aside from being a really nice guy, he also showed a good sense of humor when we ran into him this morning as everyone was gearing up for a historic parade celebrating the demise of Prop 8 and DOMA:

“Don’t worry, it’ll be more than just the two of us joining the parade.”

Indeed, he was not lying, as just a couple of hours later about 150 Mormons marched down Market Street to celebrate LOVE in all shapes and forms along with tens of thousands of San Franciscans.

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We’ve come a long way. While there’s still work to be done in the struggle for equality, today was a day to celebrate the truly remarkable progress that has been made in the last few years, culminating in this week’s Supreme Court rulings.

Speaking of for the Supreme Court: “Put a ring on it!”

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Follow me for a photo journey through a marvelous day in San Francisco…

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Gay Pride Parade, June 30, 2013, San Francisco

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My sweetie Deb and I decided to head downtown early, to get some behind-the-scenes shots before the big crowds arrived. Aside from the Mormons and the Supremes, the Safeway guys were loading up their shopping carts…

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and creating one of my favorite rainbow flags of the day…

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Spotted a couple of adorable gnomes…

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and dykes on bikes getting ready…

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looking colorful…

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powerful…

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badass…

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and just plain wonderful…

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and despite the all-encompassing good-lovingness I think a little bit of in-your-face gloating was absolutely in order (check out the super-sized blingy ring the lady on the right is wearing)…

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It was diversity within diversity. We found ourselves a spot at Market and Beale where the different groups were gathering to line up in the right spot…

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before launching themselves…

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into the parade…

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As usual, the parade was attended by a who’s who of politicians and dignitaries, but this year the confluence of politics and activism was probably even more meaningful.

Gavin Newsom, who started it all when as newly-elected San Francisco Mayor he issued a directive to the city-county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2004, getting some beads on his son Hunter before turning onto Market Street.

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California Attorney General Kamala Harris, whose refusal to defend the abominable Proposition 8 laid the foundation for SCOTUS’ punt last Wednesday, was looking royally marvelous…

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It was nice to see solidarity with the people who got their equal rights curbed by the same SCOTUS this week..

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and quite a few reminders of the controversy over whether Bradley Manning should be embraced by the gay comunity.

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Tying together marriage equality, freedom of speech, and immigrant rights is really not a stretch…

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But in the end, today was really about Wham, Blap, Biff, and Biff!

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It was about celebrating new love…

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and reaffirming long-term commitment…

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whether it was delivered Americana-style…

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or Euro super-Smart…

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It really was about family values…

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and as if guided by divine intervention, that’s when the aforementioned Mormon contingent that Mitch Mayne had promised started to show up in full force…

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What better measure of faith in a higher power than to be loving and tolerant of love…

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God was smiling today…

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After we saw the last group off onto Market Street, Deb and I decided to skip the big rally at Civic Center and move back to quieter pastures. While we felt like we got a really good soaking in this truly historic and uplifting happening, the party had really just begun…

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Back in our Mission neighborhood, we caught this beautiful display in a shop window that I think sums up this entire week.

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Happy Equality! Happy Love! Happy Victory!

About the author

Sven Eberlein

Sven Eberlein

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