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San Francisco Shooting Mars Gay Pride Celebration

3 years ago
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(June 27) -- As revelers celebrated gay pride weekend with parades across the country, festivities in San Francisco were marred after a 19-year-old man was killed and two others were shot during a street party in the Castro district.

Police said Stephen Powell was fatally shot in the torso at 11:30 p.m. Saturday night during a personal dispute with another 19-year-old man, who was arrested as a suspect, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. A 19-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man were both shot in the leg at the "Pink Saturday" celebration and were expected to recover from their injuries.

"This was definitely not a hate crime," Officer Phil Gordon told the Chronicle. "We think [the shooter and at least one victim] knew each other."

Though temporarily disrupted by the shooting, San Francisco's celebration of its 40th Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade and Celebration continued today with hundreds of thousands of gay pride supporters marching and cheering along Market Street. The Backstreet Boys were slated to perform and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a city native, was scheduled to deliver a video message.

Rainbow flags flew in cities across the country this weekend, including Atlanta, Chicago and New York, where more than 350 groups and 500,000 people, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson, paraded down Fifth Avenue.

One group of parishioners from St. Francis Xavier who also belong to LGBT Ministries marched without its usual identifying banner at the request of New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan.

In a statement, the Rev. Joseph S. Constantino from St. Francis Xavier said the archbishop is "very grateful" to the group for its work on behalf of homosexual parishioners, but "the display of the parish banner may give the false impression that the parish is somehow serving as a sponsoring organization or officially endorsing other sentiments that may appear in the course of the March."

Constance McMillen, the 18-year-old high school senior from Mississippi whose prom was canceled after she asked officials if she could bring her girlfriend as her date, served as a grand marshal of the New York parade. Her co-marshals were Judy Shepard, the mother of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard, who was killed in a hate crime in 1998, and Lt. Dan Choi, the West Point graduate who served in Iraq but left the military over its policy toward gays.

"I am absolutely proud to violate 'don't ask, don't tell' all the way down this street today," Choi told New York's WNBC-TV.

In Chicago, a Cubs float made its first-ever debut, and the Stanley Cup won by the city's Blackhawks hockey team appeared for the first time at a gay pride event. The trophy was flown from Los Angeles back to Chicago especially for the parade, according to WLS-TV.

"We are thrilled that it worked out as it's important for the city and important for the franchise," Blackhawks spokesman Adam Rogowin told The Associated Press.
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73 Comments

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doublbubblyumm

Alright here's the deal. We just need alittle tolerence and I feel it is quickly coming. There will always be homophobia, just like there will always be racism, thats just how it is. However it wont be as bad as it is now. History is constantly repeating. Look at Women and African American Rights it took awhile but tolerence and equality came. In fact half of the the homophobics who commented on this article will probably change their stance on this issue sometime in their life. Also just to make a point- if youare so set againist homosexuality why did you even care enough to read this article when there are so many to choose from?

June 28 2010 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
carlton

A shooting, "marred" the Gay-Pride Celebration? The Celebration itself mars its participants with dishonor. Mental Illness is not a reason for celebration, or pride.
Down is the new UP. Bad the new Good. Wrong the new Right. Backwards is now known as Forwards.

June 28 2010 at 11:46 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
jimknight55

I live in SF and more news has come out about the shooting and it was gang related. The people in the shooting were stright and had nothing to to with the gay community. Unfortunately the Castro street parties have been taken over by Young straight gang kids. Most people who live in the neighborhood don't even go to these parties anymore because they don't represent the gay community anymore, and they don't feel safe.

June 28 2010 at 11:04 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
lucitee

While watching the march on t.v. yesterday, I was struck by the body language and display that was shown. I don't think it helped THE CAUSE to see them that way!
Maybe in their OWN mind, but in the eyes of THIS person, I think they could have better expressed themselves by being a bit more controlled in their attitude! It is
OBVIOUS that they are making great strides in it being an acceptable life style, but
the majority I would HOPE would be less flamboyant. You won't see hetro couples do this.

June 28 2010 at 9:59 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to lucitee's comment
Curt Dyer

HELLO!! Mardi Gras??? Loose women removing their tops for cheap beads???? You've obviously been living under a rock

June 28 2010 at 11:50 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
The Joel Parker

Are you kidding me? I watch hetero couples getting married, kissing in public, groping each other, and generally behaving like sex starved lunatics at just about any festival I have ever been to. Mardi Gras, Burning Man, Halloween and any number of music festivals are just a few of the venues I have watched much more unapologetic, flamboyant, heterosexual behavior being displayed. In response to your remark about gays being acceptable by the majority, this was not an event where gays were trying to be acceptable any more so than heterosexuals are attempting to be acceptable at their celebrations.

July 01 2010 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve

I must admit that I once very homophobic and a gay basher in college. But over the yars I've matured and actually got to know some gays and realized that they are proud Americans just like myself and who have made many contributions to our society. I have no problems with gay people now and am somewhat shamed at how I acted previously. Having said this, I have to admit that the person who mentioned that gays cannot procreate has a point. Strictly biologically speaking, the only reason why we are here on this earth is to create other people so the human species can continue. Everything else basically is something that was man-made. Religion was created by man, the institution of marriage was also created by man. All nature cares about is that procreation takes place and those who die are replaced. Homosexuals cannot do this so maybe this is not natural. However, nature is not perfect and for whatever reason, gays are born with this orientation. It is not a sin, or a curse or anything like that. There are plenty of people on the earth that can procreate and I don't think that the facts that gays can't procreate will be a threat to populating the world. There always have been gays and there always will be; it's a fact of nature. This doesn't mean that they should be treated any different from anybody else. Religion and ignorance has caused many people to think that homosexuality is some sort of sin or whatever. Nature, or God, or what ever you want to call it, is not perfect so there is always going to be a biological variation. No big deal - we're all people!

June 28 2010 at 9:33 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Mike

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families, partners and friends of the people who were killed and hurt.

June 28 2010 at 9:29 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
jetski894

I'm constantly amazed by the ignorance of people. I am gay and while I don't give a crap whether I'm graced by your tolerance I do care I can't marry the person I love. I care that I've been called the most vile names by people who don't know me and I've been threatened with violence. I have been in a monogamous relationship for ten years. We are both proffessionals and pay taxes just like those who post on this board. We celebrate with our parades to show togetherness, laugh and have a good time. It is up to maybe one week a year that we get together in large numbers. I can't believe a one day parade and six days of celebration in our community causes such ugliness. Everyday is heterosexual day and we don't condem our heterosexual counterparts. I'm going to lay down crazy questions and thoughts for all those intollerant people. First-Not all of us who are in homosexual relationships were born homosexual. Unfortunately for me I didn't have a choice but I know others who did. Second-Why does it matter so much to others who we love. As long as we are all consenting adults why does anyone care. Third-By the statements I have read here and other places, I should lie to myself and live alone my entire life, or pretend to love someone for the sake of comfort and tradition. Third-Why don't we give up judging others and work on ourselves to be a better person. Last-There are those who are able to find love by looking at the whole person and not just race or sex. Again why does anyone care. I know there are those who prefer to live in the past. Who think tradition is a positive term but tradition only works for those who were priviledged with tradition that was pleasant. Who is anyone to have the attitude they know whats best. We need to stop fighting each other and start enjoying the differences that we have. Have we learned nothing from the hatred we've seen and where it all ends. I am saddened by what I've read.

June 27 2010 at 11:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jetski894's comment
ordnance6

I want you to know I don't really care what you personally do in your own home. I would hope that you would do the same for me. So keep what you do to your self and keep the rest of us out of your life. Be Happy!

June 28 2010 at 9:42 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Bob

Now I am left to assume that shooting someone is an act of love. It was probably jealousy, but certainly not hate.

June 27 2010 at 10:27 PM Report abuse +17 rate up rate down Reply
Merenda

AROLDFUT said it best: "California is a liberal, "Why can't we all get along" state...as long as they agree with you. If not, then expect to have your celebration disrupted by protesters and even violence. Try having a parade to celebrate the military or anything patriotic there. In the 60's era in S.F. liberal meant something. Now it only applies if you agree with their political agenda. So much for 'equal rights' and 'tolerance'." GREAT COMMENT!!!

June 27 2010 at 10:16 PM Report abuse +20 rate up rate down Reply
topmind

The Cubs had a float? Are the Cubs a gay group?

June 27 2010 at 10:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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