When you live in the Bay Area, every weekend there are so many cultural, social, educational, and athletic events taking place that it can be overwhelming. Yet that is a very poor excuse for my never having participated in the San Francisco Pride Parade.
I have long been a proponent of gay rights. When I was in high school, I had friends who were queer. A few years later in college, in the ultra-liberal environment of UC Santa Cruz, it was a badge of honor to support folks who were out of the closet. As an ordained rabbi, I have spoken out in support of gay and lesbian colleagues who faced discrimination based upon their sexual orientation. This very weekend, I am proud to officiate at the wedding of Gerrieann Smith and Syrah Grannis. I am doubly proud of how our congregation has embraced these two women and made them feel accepted in our community.
But after living in the Bay Area these past seven years, it’s time for me to lace up my sneakers and join the party on June 29. Thanks to the organizational effort of the Union for Reform Judaism, members of 25 Bay Area Reform congregations are joining together to march under the URJ banner. There is strength in numbers. There is pride in joining together with other progressive Jews to show our support for the rights of all LGBT people to live in this country with dignity and equal rights as American citizens.
The San Francisco Pride Parade is the largest one of its kind in the United States. According to one article, over 1.5 million people participated in the march last year. One-and-a-half million people!! So what am I doing sitting at home in Fremont when something this big is happening 40 miles away? I encourage you to join the parade. Registering is easy. Go tohttp://urj.org/west/sfpride/. Let’s stand together in support of that which is right.