Hillcrest came alive Wednesday afternoon around 5 pm as the Pride celebration began early when members of the LGBT community turned out in mass to celebrate the Supreme Court decisions that defeated the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8 (Prop 8). As people at the rally stated it was “a rally to celebrate the death of DOMA and dance on the grave of Prop 8.” Same sex couples stood proudly side by side, some with their adopted children, waving Pride flags and celebrating the fact that they will be legally recognized as a family. Many held signs that that read “My family matters” “Can’t wait for my dad to walk me down the aisle” and quotations from Harvey Milk like “Hope will never be silent.” The LGBT community was joined by hundreds of friends, family, and supporters of the marriage equality movement.
The rally turned into an impromptu march as the crowd walked down University Ave to the LGBT Community Center on Centre Street. They gathered at the community center to further celebrate the Supreme Court rulings. At the community center there was music and cake and even a bar set up in the community center library. Citizens of note that were in attendance at the rally include Rev. Gerald Green from Unity Fellowship Church in Hillcrest and former San Diego City Councilman and 52nd Congressional District candidate Carl DeMaio.
For some this marks the end of a lifelong struggle for marriage equality and for some it marks the beginning of a new opportunity to live a life they could only see as wishful thinking 24 hours before. Although the rally was a day of celebration there was a distinct undertone that the LGBT community still has battles to fight and that the war for equality is not over. Still, the mood was one of jubilance and optimism that the tide of equality struggle has turned in favor of the LGBT community. As the evening drew on the bars, restaurants, and streets of Hillcrest swelled as more and more of the Hillcrest community and supports set out to celebrate the historic victory. The night belonged to those that have suffered, waited, protested, marched and petitioned for their right to be recognized equally before the law. Not the end of a war but a victory of two distinct battles well earned.
Here is some footage captured at the rally: