The 2013 Twin Cities Pride Festival Celebrated Twin Victories — Defeat of the Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment & Passage of a Same-sex Marriage Law.
The 2013 Twin Cities Pride festival was a victory celebration as the LGBTQ community, plus families, friends and supporters — including almost every political candidate for elective office — turned out on a gorgeous (finally!) Sunday in a joyous show of happiness over the important victories of the past year.
At Pride 2012, there was anxiety over the looming battle at the polls on the proposed Constitutional amendment to out-law same-sex marriage in Minnesota. What a difference a year makes! The amendment was defeated, and, six months later, in May, the Legislature approved a same-sex marriage law that will take effect on Aug. 1.
Here is a photo essay on Sunday’s Pride parade, by The UpTake’s Hlee Lee:
Click on the story headline to see more, and larger photos!
Corporate symbols abounded as some of Minnesota’s leading companies showed support for marriage equality.
Liam, 11, Lily, 13, Rosie, 9, and Violet, 5, came from Shakopee. Said their mom Genevieve Davis, “This was our chance to say thanks” to the elected officials who supported marriage equality.
Newlyweds Todd and Patrick Ammerman-Lexer, above, were barraged by people shouting, “Congratulations!”
Love Was The Law:
Marian Herzog, a Macalester College student and intern for The UpTake, contributed this report:
Seasoned-veterans and first timers at Minneapolis’ annual Twin Cities Pride Festival came out on Sunday, June 30th to celebrate LGBTQ pride. This year’s event, usually referred to simply as “Pride,” was especially exciting, due to the vote this past May to legalize gay marriage in the State, combined with last week’s Supreme Court decision overturning the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. Participants said they were there to “support equality,” “socialize with my community” and “celebrate major legislative victories.”
The parade down Hennepin Avenue was a highlight for many of the observers. Chad Perkins and Charli and Jessica Haataja were participating in the parade for the first time this year, walking with the AFL-CIO as part of the Communications Workers of America (CWA). They said that hearing a labor union being cheered by the crowd was a highlight of their day. The parade also included many outrageous outfits, as well as many political figures and other celebrities. And even dogs!
An important part of Pride was the communal feeling it invoked in many of the attendees. “It feels special to celebrate something and feel like you have family and friends around you,” said Ryan Black, an international student studying at Macalester College. Vendors John and Gerri Wanserski from Monona, Wis., were ecstatic to see how representative the turnout was: “All ages and cultures, single people and families,” were there, they said. First-timers Jillian Plane and Amanda Fry agreed: “I liked how family friendly it was -– a lot of different kinds of families – there were a lot of straight couples,” Fry and Plane said. “They had sections for kids, a playground, coloring things, decorating cupcakes.”
Tricia Stout and Kristi Munro were there as a couple for their sixteenth year in a row together. They said that this year felt like more of a celebration because of the new legislative rulings. They were very excited to talk about how they can finally think about marriage as an option, something they never felt they could consider before.
Not only did the twin breakthroughs in Minnesota and the Supreme Court bring out new attendees to Pride, it also brought out corporate sponsorships in a way that had not seen before. The event featured registration for free HIV testing, food, vendors, and many corporate information booths. Chad Perkins returned to Pride for the first time this year in a while because he had been turned off by the things that the Target Corp., did previously, including the funding of campaigns of anti- gay rights political candidates. But annual-attendee John Labarbera said that there were more corporate sponsorship at this Pride than he had ever seen before, possibly because companies like Target are no longer worried they’ll lose customers. Target was a sponsor of this year’s Pride.
The atmosphere was all around one of festivity and celebration, and everyone there seemed to agree that the change in Minnesota Marriage Laws made this Pride different from any before it.