“As the confederate flag is falling, the rainbow flag is rising,” said Lorri Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
The celebratory atmosphere, with hundreds gathered, was reminiscent of that two years ago, when the Supreme Court issued decisions that overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.
It also was a contrast to the mood on the night of Nov. 5, 2008, when a rally that marked the passage of California’s ban on same-sex marriage instead turned into an angry protest as demonstrators marched for hours throughout the city and nearby Hollywood, at one point breaking into “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
West Hollywood Councilman John Duran told the crowd that it was 23 years ago, as so many were dying of AIDS, that he and others organized an ACT UP protest nearby West Hollywood Park.
“The price we paid was huge, but victory sure is sweet,” Duran said.
Jon Davidson of Lambda Legal said, “Today, June 26, will forever be LGBT Rights Day.” This is also the date that the Supreme Court issued landmark gay rights opinions in 2003 and again in 2013.
Davidson, however, added, “We are very far from done,” noting the need for protections for transgender citizens and for federal and state anti-discrimination laws.