2004 is when things really got interesting. The Mayor, Gavin Newsom, told the county clerk to start issuing same-sex marriage licenses in Feb, 2004. By mid March, when the courts halted it, 4,000 were given out. The pride parade's in late June. In August the courts threw all the licenses out. So when the parade happened, basically they were in full victory mode. They really thought they would win, Gavin was a hero, and this is well before the backlash happened with state after state passing anti-gay marriage laws.

It's also worth pointing out that most of the folks here were looking forward to the end of the Bush years - the election would be in a few months but it was "unthinkable" that Bush would be re-elected. A lot of the anti-Bush comments are dismissive, basically just kicking him while he's down.

This refers to Gwen Araujo, who was a transgendered teenager who was murdered. Her killers were convinced of second degree murder.

Just in case you were unaware of the politics of the local newspaper.

Bush was making a bit of a push for a constitutional amendment against gay marriage so there were lots of references to that. This is one of the celebrity grand marshals, Alan Cumming.

There were a bunch of people who seemed to indicate that gays were discriminated against in terms of immigrating. This was before the left gave up on legal immigration as a cause and switched to illegal immigration. Um, undocumented people.

Every single politician there (and there are always a ton) tried desperately to tie themselves into the gay marriage issue.

Vast quantities of these - marriage licenses blown up to huge proportions.

These are all supporters of Carole Migden, a local politician. Again, you see the tie-in to marriage.

San Francisco police always has a big group.

Gavin! Gavin! The Mayor in full victory mode since he single handedly legalized marriage across the entire US. Something like that anyway. Well, it's just a matter of time, really.

Again, the sign. Most of the people were like these guys - nice enough guys, holding hands. "Look, we like baseball, we're just normal folks!". This was a much, much more powerful message than the crazier elements at the parade.

Notice the "Thank you Gavin" - it was really the work of one individual.

More of the same.

Well, until August anyway. Again, see the personal component with the mayor being given credit.

FMA refers to "Federal Marriage Amendment".

I'm not totally sure if these are what he means, but there's an API that's a pro animals group. You get a lot of these single signs where unless you're already up on this stuff you have no clue at all. Very much preaching to the converted.

Still giving a sense of how many of these people there were with licenses. I love the guy looking to the side. Here's a close up.

I like this guy a lot - instead of getting his blown up he clearly just grabbed it off the wall. This kind of thing's very sweet - I know I don't have my marriage license hung on the wall.

This is the point where I stop commenting for a bit - just take in the sense of how many people we're talking about.

There really wasn't that much anti-Bush stuff despite the occasional dig - everybody thought he'd be gone soon anyway.

If you want to see the second part, go to part two of two!


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