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Court ruling gives Pride Parade an extra spark (Houston Texas gay pride parade)
Houston Chronicle ^ | June 28, 2003, 11:40PM | By ROBERT CROWE

Posted on 06/29/2003 3:16:13 AM PDT by weegee

By ROBERT CROWE Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle From exotic drag queens strutting their stuff to colorful floats sporting gay and lesbian activists, the Houston Pride Parade on Saturday night attracted a large, festive crowd.

While just as flamboyant as it has been during its previous 24 years, the atmosphere was charged by the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling that overturned Texas' sodomy law.

"This is overwhelming and still seems a little unreal after all these years -- more than three decades of struggle -- that we're finally free in Texas and free all over the country," said Lee Harrington.

A self-described old-timer in the gay activist community, Harrington had served as president of the Gay Political Caucus in the early 1980s.

The Houston Pride Parade, one of the largest in the country, has been bumping like a funky disco song along Westheimer in the heart of Montrose for 25 years now.

As many as 150,000 spectators -- ranging from the expected gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to straight folk with their families and children -- turned out for the parade, which marks the 34th anniversary of a New York City bar riot that sparked the modern gay rights movement.

Saturday was Jason Mayo's first pride parade in Houston. Mayo, 31, had attended such parades in San Francisco for eight years, prior to moving to Houston last August.

"This means more in Houston -- in the heartland so to speak -- because in San Francisco it was more like preaching to the choir," he said.

Ken Harrig, 43, liked the fact that the Westheimer Street Festival crowd, which had gathered in the area throughout the day, helped diversify the parade audience. "It's great; I totally support the festival being here," he said.

"We're getting closer and closer to gay liberation," said Angela Flores, 23, a spectator. "I just want to be able to come out at work and not be worried about it."

Flores and several friends were enjoying cold drinks and the festive atmosphere.

A group of three young men said they had talked about the Supreme Court's decision before the parade. One man admired the fact that two men from Houston were willing to make sacrifices to help change the law.

Still, he said he did not want his name used because "people at work" did not know his sexual orientation.

The Supreme Court's 6-3 decision on Thursday overturning Texas' Homosexual Conduct Law as unconstitutional was made regarding a 1998 case involving two Houston-area men. Tyron Garner and John Lawrence, charged with violating the law, were arrested by police who entered their home.

Garner and Lawrence were expected to participate in the parade.

Activist Jack Valinski, chairman of the 25th annual Pride Parade, said about 100 people organized the parade. Another 1,000 participated by making floats, marching and throwing beads to the crowd. About 125 floats glided along the parade route.

A special float this year honored past grand marshals of the parade.

Although Saturday was a day to party, Valinski said, there still is much to be done in the struggle for rights for gays and lesbians.

"We celebrate tonight, and by Monday we need to get back to the social justice issues," he said.

While the gay community has been empowered and liberated by the Supreme Court decision, Valinski said, some people might be offended if it pushes for more rights.

But that won't stop him and others, he said.

While the event has been center stage in Montrose on Pride Day, this year's parade had to share some of its limelight with the Westheimer Street Festival.

The street festival's promoters moved the event back to Westheimer on Saturday after attendance figures at the Allen Parkway location began to dwindle.

Valinski said there were no incidents he was aware of between the crowds at the two events.

"As far as I know, everything is going fine," he said before the parade.

Without permission from Montrose neighborhood associations, the street festival took place on business parking lots and not in the street.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: activistcourt; activistsupremecourt; ageofconsentlaws; downourthroats; druglaws; gaypride; gayprideparade; gayprideparades; homosexualagenda; houston; incestlaws; lawrencevtexas; mediabias; montrose; privacylaws; prostituionlaws; samesexdisorder; sexlaws; sodomylaws; texas; texassodomylaws

Ben Desoto/Chronicle Houstonians crowd the sidewalk and roof of Mary's at the 25th annual Houston Pride Parade on Saturday night in the Montrose area. Around 150,000 people attended.

1 posted on 06/29/2003 3:16:14 AM PDT by weegee
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To: weegee
More on Mary's:

Zipping Up Mary's - A local landmark for gay sex and social activism closes after 32 years

2 posted on 06/29/2003 3:17:09 AM PDT by weegee
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To: weegee
I've been to the Westheimer street festival in past years but did not want to be construed as a "participant" in the Gay Pride Parade. The WSF was co-opted this year by being united with the Gay Pride event.

The parade numbers are inflated dramatically as a result.

I drove through the neighborhood to make some photocopies this afternoon and deliver some papers to someone nearby.

The "Get Lubed!" trashboxes were all that I needed to know. The parade route was lined with these trashcans that were sponsored by a sex lube company. Ick.

3 posted on 06/29/2003 3:21:05 AM PDT by weegee
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To: weegee
I'm so tired of hearing about fags. They don't deserve special rights. They are perverts and the supreme court is wrong.
4 posted on 06/29/2003 3:35:30 AM PDT by Joe Boucher
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To: weegee
The Texas legislature didn't put this now recinded law on the books out of boredom, or spite. I predict that before too long folks will come to rue the day this law was repealed. As the famous legal writer William Blackstrone advised: Before you repeal a law find out why it was passed in the first place.
5 posted on 06/29/2003 4:04:33 AM PDT by yankeedame ("Born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.")
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To: weegee
which marks the 34th anniversary of a New York City bar riot that sparked the modern gay rights movement.

What really happened at Stonewall:

Although gay clubs were explicitly illegal at the time, Mayor Lindsay had an unofficial policy of not enforcing that law in the West Village. The gay folks in the Stonewall bar therefore had a reasonable expectation of being left alone.

Thr reason the cops showed up at the Stonewall was because the Mafioso who owned the place was blackmailing some of his customers. The cops were responding to a complaint against the owner, who wasn't gay himself, and showed up to arrest him.

The patrons of the Stonewall assumed incorrectly that the cops were there to bust them, and responded violently. The cops responded likewise.

And so was born the "gay rights" movement as we know it, though it existed before.

Do a google on "Harry Hay", and "Mattachine Society".

6 posted on 06/29/2003 4:05:20 AM PDT by Salman
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To: weegee
This asinine ruling by the senile seven proves again the loss in 1865 of states' rights will be the ruin of this nation.
7 posted on 06/29/2003 4:28:49 AM PDT by azhenfud
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: weegee
Linda Greenhouse in the New York Times agrees with me that the Supreme Court vacated the Kansas court's conviction of Limon (for sodomizing a 14-year-old boy) and that it told the Kansas court to reconsider both the conviction and the sentence in light of Lawrence. Justices Extend Decision on Gay Rights and Equality.
9 posted on 06/29/2003 4:38:46 AM PDT by aristeides
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To: fiddlinjim
"Destroying America from within."

These seven are the AXIS of EVIL.

10 posted on 06/29/2003 4:51:13 AM PDT by azhenfud
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To: Joe Boucher
Agreed. Although the problem is nationwide, we saw it firsthand in Houston. I'm soooooo glad my wife/children and I moved from there in Feb. 03 to a beautiful state where we plan to "sink in our roots" for good. YAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!! My sons and I "high five" all the time now.... That place was a sespool of immoralites and whiners.(no offense intended to other decent Houstonians because there are some, we just slowly became disgusted in general over time.) Later Joe.
11 posted on 06/29/2003 5:32:09 AM PDT by slasher82
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: weegee
"We're getting closer and closer to gay liberation," said Angela Flores, 23, a spectator. "I just want to be able to come out at work and not be worried about it."

Social acceptance and morality cannot be legislated or spun out of bench law, Ms. Flores. Please, stay in the closet, no one will think the less of you, but opinions will change if you flaunt your "sexual orientation" on our faces. No, thank you.
13 posted on 06/29/2003 5:46:43 AM PDT by Desdemona
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To: All
Everyone's reactions here are . . . well . . . so dramatic. Uh . . . the "evil gays" are going to get you . . . . watch out . . . this is the end . .. .we so fraid . . . boo!
14 posted on 06/29/2003 5:49:54 AM PDT by Ganymede
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To: weegee



Homosexuality is deviant sexual behavior and a mental illness.

Homosexuals: 1) subject their body parts to uses nature did not intend, such activities often presenting immediate risk to the participants; 2) are prone to greater suicide, depression and other mental disorders and deficiencies than the heterosexual population at large; 3) are prone to far greater sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, than the (normal) heterosexual population; 4) molest young people (pedophilia) at a far greater rate than heterosexuals; 5) engage in degrading sexual promiscuity, oftentimes engaging in risky sex with many partners during the same event; 6) are engaged in aggressive and widespread efforts to indoctrinate our children by introducing the homosexual lifestyle using public schools as the primary indoctrination “vehicle” and likewise, through the movie/music/TV industry, with the dual goals of gaining school-age acceptance of homosexuality and encouraging sexual activity among children, especially same-sex experimentation; 7) view most everything through a mindset heavily biased in favor of the homosexual lifestyle and culture, which renders them mostly useless when asked to opine on matters that normal heterosexuals better resolve.

The mental deficiencies described herein applying to homosexuals shall not be confused with the deficiencies associated with the left wing democrat/socialist/marxist/ feminist/environmentalist minds, etc., which have their own distinct set of mental disorders.

This doesn't even touch on what the Bible has to say about homosexuality.
15 posted on 06/29/2003 5:53:18 AM PDT by Imagine
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To: aristeides; weegee
Linda Greenhouse is wrong. Period. Which partly explains why she's a journalist and not a lawyer. As this Washington Post article makes clear:

Gay Rights Ruling Affects Kan. Case

The Supreme Court announced yesterday the first ripple effect of its landmark decision on gay rights, ordering a Kansas court to reconsider its approval of a 17-year sentence meted out to an 18-year-old man for having consensual sex with a 14-year-old boy.

Without comment or published dissent, the court vacated the Kansas Court of Appeals' ruling last year that Matthew Limon's sentence was constitutional even though the same conduct between two persons of different sexes would have received a far lighter penalty under Kansas law.

In fact, as that excerpt makes clear, there was never even a slightest question of vacating the original conviction, because the Kansas ruling under appeal itself only dealt with the constitutionality of the sentence disparity. To reiterate yet again, the conviction has not been vacated no matter how many ways you figure out to suggest otherwise.

16 posted on 06/29/2003 6:50:44 AM PDT by AntiGuv (™)
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To: azhenfud
Hey, now, Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas did not agree with that. Don't paint them all with the same brush. There are still people there who realize and understand what the primary purpose of SCOTUS is, and it is not to legislate from the bench.
17 posted on 06/29/2003 7:40:25 AM PDT by Houmatt (Remember Jeffrey Curley and Jesse Dirkhising!)
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To: Ganymede
Both my husband and I work in Seattle, home of the gay movement on the west coast.

They had a gay pride parade here and my husband's place of employment put out a memo, encouraging people to march in the parade and offering free tshirts to those who did.

18 posted on 06/29/2003 10:53:47 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: Ganymede
"Everyone's reactions here are . . . well . . . so dramatic. Uh . . . the "evil gays" are going to get you . . . . watch out . . . this is the end . .. .we so fraid . . . boo!"

Nah, the "evil gays" aren't gonna get anyone. We just don't agree the SCOTUS has the right to force the phaggot agenda on people who detest their behavior - esp. when in direct violation of religious convictions.

19 posted on 06/29/2003 12:12:29 PM PDT by azhenfud
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To: Houmatt
The senile seven would do well to stick to cases of constitutionality - not morality (or lack thereof).
20 posted on 06/29/2003 12:13:50 PM PDT by azhenfud
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To: weegee
Oh good grief, I thought that your title said "Court ruling gives Pride Parade an extra spank"

They have penetrated my brain. The gays have won.

21 posted on 06/29/2003 12:36:49 PM PDT by Hillary's Lovely Legs (You're not too smart. I like that in a man.)
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To: Ganymede
Read up on the sex carnival that is Mary's (it didn't close as the headline warned).

This is the embodiment of the homosexual movement in Houston (and the parade was the lead article in the online Houston Chronicle).

The articles were writtem by defenders of the homosexual movement, not detractors. That kind of press is far more graphic than the critics would have been.

22 posted on 06/29/2003 12:52:30 PM PDT by weegee
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
Oh good grief, I thought that your title said "Court ruling gives Pride Parade an extra spank"

ROFL!!!

23 posted on 06/29/2003 1:12:43 PM PDT by Allegra
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To: weegee
The court ruling? I thought it was the gerbil fireworks display they were planning...
24 posted on 06/29/2003 1:16:56 PM PDT by RichInOC ("...and Raggot's red glare, gerbils bursting in air..."...gotta be the jalapeño poppers...)
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To: AntiGuv
Have you guys copyrighted this boilerplate yet?
25 posted on 06/29/2003 3:37:48 PM PDT by Old Professer
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

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