As supporters of same-sex marriage across Southern California on Friday celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in favor of marriage equality, the city of West Hollywood organized an actual party of sorts.
“Bring your families, bring your friends. This is a true historic moment,” said West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey Horvath.
A “Decision Day Celebration Rally” was held in West Hollywood Park, where activists, community organizations, city leaders and thousands of members of the public gathered to rejoice in the court's historic ruling.
"We have gathered this evening in great relief and joy and celebration, because today was a victory for love," said LGBT Center CEO, Lorri Jean to a crowd of cheering supporters.
Thousands more lined Santa Monica Boulevard, filling the street with signs, flags and banners claiming victory in the long fight for marriage equality.
Activist and singer Melissa Manchester, who performed at the first AIDS benefit in 1984, came to show her support.
"I'm thrilled by the enlightenment and the justice that was served and the key point of dignity for all citizens," she told KTLA.
The city, the site of a massive annual L.A. Pride events and long associated with gay culture, first adopted a domestic partner ordinance in 1985. It issued marriage licenses for several months in 2008 until forced to a halt by the passage of California Proposition 8.
California’s same-sex marriages resumed in June 2013, when the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed an appeal related to Prop 8, and hundreds of civil ceremonies have been performed by West Hollywood officials since then, according to the city.
On Friday, city leaders called the 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges historic but noted that the victory followed a history of discrimination and sacrifice.
“We have come a long way since West Hollywood was part of the founding of Equality California in 2000 to secure marriage equality in our State,” Councilman John J. Duran said in a statement. “But we must recognize that this political victory came with a very high price we had to pay. The hundreds of thousands of lives lost because of AIDS forced the American people to address the reality that they had gay people in their families and lives. ... Our civil rights movement was placed on the fast track because of AIDS — but we paid a terrible price. Every happy couple today should celebrate their marriage and pay homage to the sacrifices others made to get us here.”
Horvath tied Friday's celebration to the 30th anniversary of West Hollywood's incorporation in 1984.
“This is such a proud moment in our nation’s history. It is a proud moment for the LGBT community. It is a proud moment for our community,” said Horvath, a founding board member for the anti-Prop 8 NOH8 Campaign. “This is quite a celebration in terms of all of the fights that we’ve been a part of to advance LGBT equality.”