I hope you will join me and thousands of other people today to either participate in or watch Oklahoma City’s annual Gay Pride Parade.
The parade starts at 6 p.m. at N.W. 36th Street and Classen Boulevard, goes north, then turns west on N.W. 39th Street before it ends just west of Penn Avenue. In a change this year, all the events of the related festival will be held in the N.W. 39th Street and Penn Avenue area.
Anyone who has attended the Gay Pride celebration over the years here knows just how much it has grown, which represents the growing acceptance of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) community.
But there’s still much to be done here in Oklahoma. Many of our political leaders here-state Rep. Sally Kern, for example-continue to promote intolerance of the gay community to provoke fear. Gay people still face discrimination and even violence for who they are.
On a happier note, the huge celebration this weekend of our thriving gay community and of diversity in general projects a different image of Oklahoma than most people have about our state.
Also, the decision by the New York State Senate Friday to legalize same-sex marriage is a major victory for gay rights everywhere in this country and this should energize the crowd.