NC Pride 2013

North Carolina's annual Pride event is coming up this weekend. It's the first NC Pride since the pro-equality Supreme Court decisions this summer, so there should be a lot of energy out there. The main event is of course on Saturday with the fair grounds style tent set up, speakers, and marches around the Duke East Campus and 9th street areas. It's a lot of fun, and you should check it out if you've never been.

I am intentionally calling it a Pride march rather than a Pride Parade, because while I think both are fair descriptions, I want to highlight its history. The annual pride marches are just that, marches for equality, although they have taken on a very festive atmosphere over the years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots
The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community[note 1] against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for gay and lesbian rights in the United States.[2][3]

On June 28, 1970, the first Gay Pride marches took place in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York commemorating the anniversary of the riots. Similar marches were organized in other cities. Today, Gay Pride events are held annually throughout the world toward the end of June to mark the Stonewall riots.

In North Carolina the annual event has been moved to September for the past many years due to weather and heat concerns, but it grows out of that history as an equal rights march. Marches have continued to be an important piece of the puzzle in struggling for equality as it has in many other justice and civil rights movements.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_on_Washington_for_Lesbian,_Gay_and_Bi_Equal_Rights_and_Liberation
The March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation was a large political rally that took place in Washington, D.C. on April 25, 1993. Organizers estimated 1,000,000 attended the March. This was backed up by estimates by the D.C. police, that put the number between 800,000 and more than 1 million attendees.[1]

So don't just ask yourself, is a Pride Parade something I want to attend? Instead ask yourself is an equal rights march something I want to attend? And if the answer is yes, then hopefully I'll see you out there this weekend.

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2013 Pride Photos

Saw some speeches, browsed the pride grounds, got a few new t-shirts, watched the parade, distributed hundreds of 2013 get out the vote wallet card handouts, grabbed a bite to eat, and generally had a blast. Here's a little of what I saw.

More than 10,000 at a march in NC yesterday

Between the marchers, rallies, and spectators, there was a huge crowd yesterday.

"More than 10,000 show their LGBT pride at festival in Durham"
http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/09/28/3237305/more-than-10000-show-their-lgbt.html

Josh Allen with N.C. Pride called this year’s pride festival the biggest so far and the largest in the three-state area including South Carolina and Tennessee.

More than 140 vendors and more than 110 groups and 60 vehicles took part in the parade. The five-day festival that ends Sunday added two new events this year, a 5K run and a film night, Allen said.

Beyond the revelry, the LGBT community and its supporters were pushing for something more basic: equality.

“We’re making gains every day,” said Johnathan Smith, 23, of Raleigh. “Look what happened with Prop 8 in California and on a federal level with DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act).

A larger political gathering than most the state has seen, rivaling or exceeding many Moral Monday and HKonJs. I'm glad to see the N&O covering it, browsing the other local media websites I couldn't find anything. Still the progress marches on!

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Greensboro citing the Supreme Court ruling in seeking to overturn North Carolina’s constitutional ban.

And I just became a card carrying member of the ACLU yesterday. Saw their booth set up there, figured it was about time.