News went around the gay web last week, via a Los Angeles law firm, that San Francisco's LGBT Pride celebration - the part that occurs throughout Pride weekend at Civic Center but grows into an enormous multi-block affair on the Sunday of the parade - was, like Pink Saturday in the Castro, in danger of cancelation because of gun violence. An injunction was filed on behalf of two young men who were injured by gunshots in the wake of the celebration in 2013, and this same law firm had sued and settled with SF Pride last year in the shooting of a third man that same year. SFist quickly got a response to the lawsuit from SF Pride, crafted by local PR maestro Sam Singer, calling it "without merit," and insisting that the Civic Center party will go on the weekend of June 25 undeterred by "a personal injury lawyer."
“The threatened injunction is meant to intimidate our organization and would have a massive and long-term negative impact on the LGBTQIA community of San Francisco,” says George Ridgely, Executive Director of SF Pride. “We will not be bullied by false claims and strongly believe the court will see this action for what it is.”
While securing an enormous party like this is near impossible, it's equally impossible to avoid the gathering of people happening when hundreds of thousands show up to watch the parade and will naturally wander this direction expecting to find what they find every year, with vendors and stages. Nonetheless SF Pride enlists the help of the SFPD as well as private security, gates to the festival grounds are monitored, though not with metal detectors as that would become unwieldy with so many gates and so many attendees arriving basically at the same time.
SF Pride points out, further, in the release that "The theme for this year’s San Francisco Pride Parade and Celebration is For Racial and Economic Justice. San Francisco Pride has a 46-year history at the forefront of the fight for equality and justice, and the 2016 theme is intended to shed light on those most marginalized among us, many within the LGBTQIA community."
Let's all hope that idiots don't bring guns to the party this year, and given the fracas of the last several years in the hours toward the end of the day when many people have been drinking hopefully there will be enough vigilance to keep the entire festivity from being ruined by one or two people.