“It’s normal now. We’re all normal,” 37-year-old Tom Parker said. Parker and his boyfriend stood side-by-side, across from the Stonewall Inn. They smiled, cheered and basked in gay pride and the new normal as a float with a huge wedding cake and two men dancing on top lingered in front of the historic bar during the annual New York City Gay Pride parade.
“I skipped some of the Pride parades in the past. But this year I thought it was important to be here after the Supreme Court decision,” the New Yorker said.
Hundreds of thousands who felt the same way turned out despite the drizzle that slowly turned to a soft sunny afternoon. Many we talked with described the June 26th Supreme Court decision that declared gay marriage a constitutional right as an important cultural shift.
They praised the decision and those we talked with told us they thought that it will improve their lives and the lives of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people all across America.
“It made me feel like it was a big change. Finally everyone’s on the same page and we feel accepted,” Katia Vaira told ConsumerMojo.
Nearby, Tracy Thompson from the Bronx took photos with her phone and said, “This all means a lot to gay people. People died, committed suicide because they weren’t accepted. And now people aren’t against us.”
Hours earlier at the Stonewall Inn, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo married David Contreras Turley and Peter Thiede. Thiede, 35, works as an analyst for UBS. Turley, 36, works for the Human Rights Campaign and participated in the 2011 coalition that fought to make gay marriage legal in New York.
“Suddenly, there was a thunderbolt and everything changed,” Brian Herrin said as he and his husband Shannon Rednour stood on the corner of Grove Street.
The 47-year-olds married n New Jersey when it became legal two years ago. Brian’s a V.P. of finance at a software company and Shannon works as a digital producer. They first married in San Francisco in 2004 when then-Mayor Gavin Newsome declared gay marriage legal, but their marriage was annulled after the California Supreme Court voided gay marriages.
After 22 years together, they now feel safe. Shannon’s family lives in Arkansas, and Brian’s lives in Kansas. Both states failed to accept gay marriages and they worried about visiting. Shannon said, “Now we can go to Arkansas and we’re still married.
“And that means if something happens, I can go to the emergency room and see him and help him” Brian said.
That’s ordinary, normal stuff for married couples. And that’s why the Supreme Court ruling means so much. Just ordinary stuff.