San Diego Pride Turns 40



Video Tom Abbott

Stills: Nadin and Tom Abbott


July 19, 2014 (San Diego) The first parade in San Diego was in 1974, and there was no permit for it. Still, there were 200 people who showed up.

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The next year, according to Jeri Dilno, they got a permit from the city. The parade back then went through Broadway to Park Blvd. Today “Pride” was expecting about 300,000 which she said she heard on the radio. Five years ago the city asked “Pride” to move the event to the weekend before Comicon, because quite frankly, the city and hotels could not handle both.

 This is a “big civic event, the biggest civic event,” in the city every year. Dilno noted how society has changed. She also said that the real change came when the Chief of Police and the San Diego County Sheriff marched in the parade. She added that having politicians and candidates march has also helped.

The Grand Marshall for the parade was San Diego Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins. Others marched as well. Among them were Nathan Fletcher, Assembly Woman Lorena Gonzalez, Congressmen Scott Peters and Juan Vargas, and Congresswoman Susan Davis.

Moreover, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and President of the City Council Todd Gloria were also present, as well as Sherri Lightner. We also saw at least sign bearers for Governor Jerry Brown and his challenger Neel Kashkarian.

We also had candidates such as Chris Ward and Carol Kim.

It was not just politicians who showed up. The Faith Community came to the parade en force. One of them was the Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego. They have been attending the parade from the beginning. They were here en force today, with over forty members.

We had an opportunity to talk with Al Smithson before the parade. He is a board member and he told us that they do perform weddings, and that they are always warmly received. Here is the video.

Other faith communities were present en force, such as the Unitarian Church of Christ, the Lutheran Church, and two Jewish Temples. Among them was Temple Emanu-El.

We also talked with Jack Doxey, of Veterans for Peace. They are among the new kids on the block, only marching for five years. As usual, they brought the model on wheels of a Predator drone.

Doxey said that they wanted to “demonstrate the havoc the drones bring on the world.” He emphasized that operators are 6,000 miles from the scene, and while they will try to make the ethical decision, identifying friend from foe that far can be hard. After all, the operators are flying the drones from Las Vegas.

The organization is also involved in helping homeless veterans, and according to Doxey the state has authorized 600 million to help homeless off the streets, with another 600 millions coming from the Feds. The objective is to get every homeless vet off the street by December 31st, 3015.

Doxey is personally a vet of the Korean War.

Overall it was an extremely well attended event, with tens of thousands lining the streets. The event closed with the flag, a one hundred foot flag, The video will give you a good idea of that size of that flag. 

Categories: San Diego Pride

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