SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP/BCN) — Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in downtown San Francisco to watch the city’s 43rd annual Pride Parade on Sunday, and the crowd had even more to celebrate than in previous years: two U.S. Supreme Court victories on same-sex marriage.
The weekend’s celebration came after the high court on Wednesday announced the dismissal of an appeal in the Proposition 8 case and ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. The Supreme Court also gave celebrants one more reason to cheer Sunday when Justice Anthony Kennedy rejected a last-ditch effort by opponents to stop gay marriages in California.
PHOTO GALLERY: Slideshow Of The 43rd Annual San Francisco Pride Parade
Among the thousands at the parade, which included 200 groups who participated this year, were scores of teenage girls, opposite-sex couples and families with children. Crowds were 10 deep on the sidewalks of Market Street.
“You can feel the smiles,” Graham Linn, 42, of Oakland said as he stood on a three-foot-tall building ledge to watch the parade. “All around you there is a release. There is a vindication, and you can feel it.”
The biggest applause went up for the two newlywed couples whose legal challenge of Proposition 8 made it possible for Californians to wed.
Kris Perry and Sandy Stier of Berkeley, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo of Burbank waved from convertibles as a group of people carried cartoon-style signs that read, “Prop. 8-Kapow!” The couples were married on Friday, hours after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed same-sex marriages to resume.