Tower Full of Pride

June 6, 2009 6:09:30 PM PDT
An annual party in the Tower district takes on a more serious tone this year. The gay pride parade in the Tower district drew a big crowd this year, due in large part to the fight over same-sex marriage.

Action news reporter John-Thomas Kobos shows us why the Valley continues to be a battle ground over this hot button issue.

Organizers said Saturday's turn out proved to be one of the largest in pride parade history.

Last Saturday supporters of same sex marriage filled the streets of downtown Fresno, this Saturday morning they filled the streets of the Tower district.

Colorful and proud displays of "Pride" reverberated up and down Olive Avenue in Fresno's Tower district.

The annual Pride parade drew lesbian, gay, straight and transgender supporters from as far south as Porterville and all the way from San Francisco.

"Whatever you are, we come out and have a good time and have fun," said Miss Nel.

"I think it's wonderful," said Cloud King.

Steven DeSantos said: "This is my first Saturday off and I actually came out cause I'm gay and I never do anything in Fresno cause I work Saturdays."

At the forefront of many people's minds here Saturday was the Supreme courts ruling two weeks ago upholding proposition 8 which legally defines marriage between man and woman only.

"I'm finally able to love who I want to but I can't marry who I want to," said King.

"What's the big deal? There are a lot of people who are atheist who get married," wondered DeSantos.

One group in the parade carried a banner showing the similarities between civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King and local pastor Jim Franklin.

However, in this banner Franklin is described as someone against civil rights.

"We've always tried to keep this from being personal and attacking individuals," said Franklin.

During the Prop 8 debate Franklin was a staunch supporter of traditional marriage.

"We've had two elections. We've had two court battles, one all the way to the Supreme Court. I think it's really time that we move on," said the Pastor.

But these supporters of same-sex marriage say they will not budge from the Central Valley until marriage is equal for all.

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