Troy Brunet is here standing at 17th and Castro in San Francisco waiving this flag -- "it's like a sigh of relief" pic.twitter.com/4KsaspMWQc— Hamed Aleaziz (@Haleaziz) June 26, 2015
Cars are already honking through San Francisco's Castro district this morning following the historic 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court this morning. Thankfully, the justices dropped their most dramatic decision on this Friday of Pride weekend in San Francisco, New York, Minneapolis, and Seattle instead of waiting until Monday, which is their last scheduled day for releasing decisions. This means that Pride celebrations will kick off with an extra boost of jubilation, much like they did two years ago in the wake of the rulings on DOMA and Prop 8.
A 5 p.m. rally in the Castro will, like it did in 2013, come with a concurrent block party of epic proportions (likely to begin a couple hours ahead of that), as locals and tourists alike flock to one of the world's nexuses of the gay rights movement to celebrate this historic moment.
State Senator Mark Leno tells the Bay Area Reporter that the ruling "was a long time coming. [And] amid all the joy, all the elation, all the celebration, a quiet part of me says this just feels right.”
Chronicle reporter Hamed Aleaziz posted the photos above and below to Twitter showing one Troy Brunet and his big rainbow flag, standing at the corner of Market and Castro in the shadow of the much larger rainbow flag there, saying, "it's like a sigh of relief."
It's early in the morning in the Castro but people are excited -- cars honking and lots of smiling pic.twitter.com/dRpDSwiKvZ— Hamed Aleaziz (@Haleaziz) June 26, 2015
A 9 a.m. rally at City Hall featured local LGBT rights leaders and politicians, including Kate Kendell, the executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, who pointed at the crowd and said, "You you you you! Look what you did!"
Leno also spoke, saying that former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger "will go down in history as the George Wallace of California" with regard to same-sex marriage rights, as Chron reporter Vivian Ho tweets from the scene (see below).
Mayor Ed Lee spoke, and former mayor, now Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom was expected to speak. [Update: As seen in the tweet below, Newsom arrived late and didn't get to say much at the rally.] Newsom, of course, was instrumental in getting the ball rolling in the national debate over gay marriage when he controversially allowed the San Francisco city clerk to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses back in 2004.
Newsom has clearly had a prepared statement ready to release for weeks now, and he begins by quoting George Washington.
’We have abundant reason to rejoice that, in this land, the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition.’ The wisdom of these words, penned by President Washington and now more than two centuries old, remind us that American Democracy is an evolving journey, perfected with the passage of time.
Indeed our present day comprehension of marriage based upon love and lifelong loyalty is itself an evolution in the institution of marriage.
This cause for celebration closes one chapter of civil right injustices enforced by state laws. To deny the value of any love, devalues all love. The nation has traveled full circle in the eleven years since San Francisco’s Winter of Love, but the underlying prejudices have not disappeared.
And as we celebrate, we must give thanks. Thanks to the brilliant lawyers who forged ahead with legal challenge after legal challenge. Thanks to the judges who understood this was about equality and justice. Thanks to the elected officials who supported marriage equality, caring more about doing the right thing than winning political points. Thanks to the activists who have been waging the battle for marriage for decades and never giving up. And most of all, thanks to the couples who taught us about courage and constancy.
SF District Attorney George Gascon also released a statement this morning, saying, "Love is truly the great equalizer, and today’s decision is a victory for the countless LGBT couples whose determination and love for one another led to this historic day... Today, more than most days, I am proud and grateful to live in this country."