My sister's best friend came up to visit San Francisco last weekend. He planned it perfectly... a weekend to hang out in San Francisco PLUS the opportunity to experience San Francisco's Pride events. San Diego's got nothing on the San Francisco version, trust me!
On friday I joined the two of them on an adventure around the city. We stopped by some favorite local landmarks, and I drug him along to City Hall. City Hall is probably one of my very favorite places in all of San Francisco. The architecture makes my heart happy, and I love shooting weddings there. I don't know why, but I just assume everyone who comes to San Francisco will love it too, so I require them to visit and try to convince them to agree with me about how awesome it is.
Anyway, back to story.
We checked out City Hall and I noted to myself that there were a ton more security guards inside than there normally are. I thought that maybe they were just gearing up for the Pride celebrations that would be taking place outside the following day. After we finished up ooh-ing and aah-ing, I drug them along to one of my favorite bars close by (quick note-- I just realized that I sound like a horrible tour guide... dragging people to the places that *I* want to go to, and things that *I* want them to experience. Oopsie!). As we were enjoying a refreshing beer on that sunny afternoon day, we heard some exciting news... The stay on same sex marriages had been lifted and were set to resume any minute at City Hall. We all looked at each other, super stoked for the news, and feeling a connection with it, knowing that we were just at City Hall where so much happiness was about to take place...
But wait a minute. We're a few blocks away. We should go back.
So we did. We excitedly rushed back to San Francisco City Hall. We made our way inside and were immediately immersed in a large crowd of people. People that were there to get married. People that were there to celebrate the marriages of their friends and family. People that were there to offer support, cheers, and congratulations. My heart was bursting.
We got to see some of the very first same-sex marriages take place that day, including that of Ms. Perry and Ms. Stier, who were one of the two couples to challenge prop 8, and were first on the list to be granted their marriage rights. We stood huddled close, teary eyed, as we watched a few people say their vows in front of a hundred people (mostly strangers) who were there just to cheer them on.
We were also treated to a great performance by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, which was pretty awesome to see too! Check out the video below to see a small glimpse of all the excitement that day. Sorry for the not-so-great quality... it was my first time using Instagram Video, y'all!
We left City Hall with happy hearts knowing that in our home state people in love, no matter their sexual preference, could be married, finally. What a great opportunity to experience a beautiful piece of our history as a society on that day! On our way out a guy with a fancy news camera pulled us aside to ask about how we felt and what we saw. I let Sister and Sister's Friend take the lead on that one. Sister's Friend remarked that the inside of City Hall felt like Disneyland... The happiest place on earth, full of magic. I don't think the camera man appreciated the silly reference... Sister's Friend's interview never made it on tv. :p
As happy as I am for the overturning of Prop 8 and everything that comes along with it, I feel that it's so very important for us Californians to remember something... this has been a long, hard battle for equality. While we're celebrating love here in California, keep in mind that same sex marriage is still not legalized in too much of the country. The victory in California is a victory... but still a small step in the right direction in the grand scheme of things. Keep fighting the good fight. Keep making your voices heard. Keep fighting for and celebrating love for the sake of love. We'll get there!