I was very interested in Gay Prof’s piece on the gay pride march in Boston a couple of weekends ago, in part because I participated in Albany’s parade around the same time. Based on his piece and the several comments the piece generated, I’ve concluded that the Gay Pride march in the big cities (New York, San Francisco, presumably Boston), and the ones in smaller cities, such as Albany, are very different animals. The big city events, from what I read, have been co-opted by the advertisers trying to market to a niche, while our parade seemed as though it was making a statement.
Actually, I hadn’t gotten up that day planning on marching. But when I got to church, several of the members were working on the Albany Presbytery float with this cardboard Jesus in the front and a rainbow of colors decorating the float. The service had ended, the parade, which had, in previous years had taken place during the service, had not yet started, and so I joined in. there was a real sense of comradery – the AIDS activists, the PFLAG moms, the drag queens, the Presbyterians all there for civil rights, human rights.
Clearly, the crowds lining the streets were appreciative of the church taking a stand. Well, except for the one guy with a huge sign citing scripture about gaining the world and losing one’s soul. He could not have been happy about Christians, so-called in his mind, involved in such an activity.
For some reason, I’ve gotten on a mailing list of some Methodists – I used to be a Methodist – who are very disturbed by the policies of the church leadership. They actually use terms such as “gay agenda.”
On a related topic, our dysfunctional State Legislature has passed another one-house bill. Our Democratic Party-controlled state Assembly passed legislation in favor of gay marriage; the Republican-led State Senate didn’t even bring it up before they went home for a few weeks. Here’s the front cover of the paper that day. Don’t expect this to pass the State senate anytime soon.