Yep, it’s that time of year again.

Yesterday kicked off Pride Week with a first-of-its-kind kickoff for Rochester. At 3:00 yesterday afternoon, the HUGE Gay Pride flag was elevated in the atrium of Rochester’s City Hall. It was originally scheduled to be raised outside, over city hall, but the weather didn’t want to cooperate so it was moved to the inside atrium.

This represents yet another huge step forward for the LGBTQ community — support and acknowledgment by the local city government. Former Rochester Chief of Police and now Mayor Bob Duffy, according to City Council VP Bill Pritchard, didn’t ask “Why do you want the flags flown,” but instead asked “WHERE do you want them flown?”

You can see the local ABC affiliate’s coverage here.

This area has seen tremendous advancements in the first half of this year for the LGBTQ community and this is yet another positive and exciting step toward equality for our community.

  • Feb 1, Appellate Court ruling which requires recognition of legally solemnized same-sex marriages in NY State.
  • Apr 26, Newly Wed In New York event, the first of its kind in the area, draws 60 vendors/businesses in support of same-sex couples at same-sex wedding expo.  A dozen couples renew/exchange vows. Community wedding “reception” held.  More than 300 tickets sold.
  • Apr 29, Equality and Justice Day in Albany. More than 1200 New Yorkers, gay and straight, lobbied lawmakers in Albany for Marriage Equality, GENDA, and DASA.
  • May 6, Court of Appeals sends marriage equality case back to lower courts, leaving the Appellate Court ruling in place and, the law of the land.
  • May 14, NY Governor Paterson orders all state agencies to get into compliance with Appellate Court ruling on marriage recognition by the end of June.
  • Jun 3, NY State Assembly passes bill banning Transgender discrimination (GENDA).
  • Jun 23, long time anti-gay GOP majority leader in NY Senate steps down.
  • Jun 24, the New York State Legislature unanimously passed a bill that allows domestic partners—including same-sex couples—access to the protections granted by Family Court.

Pride activities through the remainder of this week include (but are not limited to):

  • Tonight: Youth Pride Pageant, 5-9 @ Muther’s.
  • Tonight: Bathhouse: The Musical @ Downstairs Cabaret Theater @ 7:30
  • Thursday: Pride Social @ Rochester Science and Museum Center, 5:30-7:00 sponsored by Rochester Community Business Forum/Streets of Pride
  • Thursday: Sweat for Pride, 9 pm – 2 am @ Muthers
  • Thursday: Movie Night, For the Bible Tells Me So, 7:00 @ Third Presbyterian Church
  • Friday: Pride Kickoff Party, 7:30-11:00 @ The Hyatt
  • Saturday: Parade @ 5:00 from Park Ave to Main Street Armory
  • Saturday: Pride Festival 6:00 – 11:00 @ Main Street Armory (appropriate ID required)
  • Sunday: Pride Picnic, Genesee Valley Park, 1:00 – 7:00

I think I may have mentioned before that Lisa and I will be this year’s Pride Parade Grand Marshals.  We’re hoping that any of you along the parade route with cameras can get some pictures for us, and send them to us!