Thousands of people lined the streets for Salt Lake City’s Pride Parade on Sunday. The grand marshals were the plaintiffs in Kitchen versus Herbert the court case that struck down Utah’s laws on same-sex marriage in December. The decision was stayed while it’s appealed to the 10th Circuit, but hundreds of couples who were married during the seventeen days the ruling was in effect were right up front in the parade.
Deb Anderson and PJ Jennings were married just three days after the ruling. They showed up early to ride on the float with other married couples. Deb believes their marriage will be upheld when the courts finally decide the case.
“I think it’ll be just fantastic," she tells KUER, "and I think that yes, the whole country will be able to accept same-sex marriages. It validates us.”
Once again, Mormons Building Bridges was among the parade’s largest entries, with hundreds of Latter-day Saints marching to support openness and inclusion of gays and lesbians in their church.
Ann Simmons of South Jordan joined the group with her four children.
She says, “My childrens’ father is same-sex attraction and he has decided to pursue that lifestyle, so we’re here to show our love and support. Although it’s been a heartbreaking season for us, we love him.”
The Pride Parade also included a contingent of police officers from Salt Lake City and other agencies who drew applause from the crowd. A Salt Lake City officer was placed on administrative leave by the department on Friday after he refused an assignment to provide security for the festival and parade.