On Grove Street in San Francisco yesterday, people entering the LGBT Pride Celebration area, had to pass through metal detectors, also be wand inspected, and have anything they might be carrying visually inspected. There is also a much more visible police presence. It's a shame that our world has come to this! The idea of course is the safety and security of everyone, and I am told that today is going to be even more secure. Pride celebrations in several cities today will have new elements of security. The attack on the lgbt community is all too fresh in our memory.
Barbara Poma, the owner of Orlando's Pulse nightclub, where the massacre occurred, will be leading the New York City parade atop a Stonewall Inn float. I'm hearing reports that onlookers have already started lining up along Fifth Avenue there, to get the best vantage point for the annual lgbt celebration parade. I'm certain the same thing is true in San Francisco. Last year it was an extra happy event, with the US Supreme Court having just ruled favorably on same-sex marriage. This year, just two weeks after the murder of 49 people at a gay club, the mood is expected to be quite different.
At all of the Pride events this weekend in any city, I expect there will be stepped up security. (I've already seen pictures on television this morning of police in New York City carrying long guns). I expect that some of the speakers will talk about hate and the need to put an end to it, and some will talk about gun violence and the need for that to end too. Heightened security along with heightened concerns, but a celebration nonetheless.
Remember, the future is up to ALL of us. We can all make the world more safe and secure. We can work to end the hate. We can bring back the joyful celebrations that we all enjoy. Let's do it!