Palm Springs is one of the gayest cities on the planet. And their Pride celebration is one of the most raucous and extravagant. This year's parade, that dances up Palm Canyon Drive on Sunday, November 8 at the ungodly hour of 10am, is all the more celebratory because of the recent Supreme Court ruling making same-sex marriage a legal fact in every state in the US. So it only makes sense to honour some of the warriors in that battle by making them honourees during the parade.
Evan Wolfson, the National Grand Marshal, is the founder and president of Freedom To Marry, a legal and political organization that battled hard for marriage equality. Dubbed "the godfather of gay marriage," by Newsweek and lauded by Andrew Sullivan as, "the indispensable man in bringing marriage equality to America," Wolfson will lead the parade just as he helped lead the way in a revolution in US law.
Paul Campion and Randall Johnson, Grand Marshals, were married in Palm Springs in 2008 during the short loophole before Proposition 8 prohibited same-sex marriage. Instead of honeymooning, they returned to their native Kentucky, where they continued to raise their children and agitate to make their family and marriage a legal and equal one. Campion and Johnson, with the support of their kids, were among the litigants who took the fight all the way to the Supreme Court.
As Palm Springs Pride president, Ron deHart says,“As we celebrate the life changing decision by the Supreme Court of the United States guaranteeing every American the right to marry – having those that played a role in this legal decision resonates with all of our guests, participants and allies."
But of course there is more to gay than marriage and Palm Springs Pride is also honouring three Community Grand Marshals: Mark Seymour, Jennifer Seymour and Patrick Volkert who co-own the nightclub Hunters Palm Springs. The trio not only run a cornerstone of Palm Springs' gay nightlife, but they have also done significant fundraising for the community and, not incidentally, the campaign for marriage equality.
Leading the glitz and glamour of the parade will be six political leaders. That is not to say that they won't be dressed to the nines or glittering themselves. Undoubtedly Campion and Johnson's kids are already helping to pack something fabulous to wear.
Palm Springs Pride 2015 runs Fri, Nov 6 to Sun, Nov 8 in Palm Springs, California. pspride.org