UPDATE: Mandy Carter spoke about the importance of the LGBT vote (I just added that video below the fold). Also, I forgot to mention that we also had one pathetic McCain supporter on the sidelines screaming “McCain, McCain, McCain.” She couldn’t even manage to round up a few friends to make a decent show of things.

UPDATE 2: I’ve added more video below the fold: 1) Elke Kennedy, the mother of Sean Kennedy, who was murdered because he was gay. His killer received a sentence of manslaughter and was eligible to be out in 10 months. 2) Chapel Hill City Councilman Mark Kleinschmidt, and 3) Obama Pride marchers in the parade.

Kate and I went to the NC Pride parade today, and it was definitely the largest turnout we’ve seen. There was a lot of Obama support out there (right: this was my favorite T-shirt of the day). We marched in the Obama Pride section this time around. It was a wild assortment of progressive allies, members of the LGBT community, and very strong corporate support (Suntrust, US Air, Bank of America, Best Buy, Glaxo, to name a few).

We had a flock of unhinged fundies this year. Operation Save America and Flip Benham didn’t show, but it looks like one of the local black churches sent out some members with handmade signs with tired “wages of sin” kind of phrases on them. They just stood silently. By contrast, the most vocal and unhinged fundies were white, that was kind of odd; I’m not sure what’s going on there. I should note that there were more gay-affirming churches of all denominations marching in the parade than ever before.


I wonder what the hateful crowd thought about that.

I was accosted by one young woman who wanted to save me from eternal damnation as I marched, so naturally I had to go over and film her. It was hilarious – her schtick was that Obama wasn’t going to save us from the hellfire. I asked her why she wasn’t out there protesting divorce. This got her briefly off message, then the cops told me to move along. Here’s the video of her and the rest of the fundies:

A slideshow of other photos from Pride and more fundie footage are below the fold.More fundies:


From Obama to Rollerblade Jesus.


You can also see these with captions in my Facebook album. Here’s the slideshow.

UPDATE: Mandy Carter spoke about the importance of the LGBT vote this year, particularly in downticket races. I just uploaded that video:

UPDATE 2: Elke Kennedy, of Sean’s Last Wish. She’s the mother of Sean Kennedy, a young gay man murdered in SC:

From the Sunday Raleigh News & Observer, a report on Mark’s speech, along with some of my related photos and video:

“We are on the doorstep of the most important political election of our day,” Chapel Hill Town Council member Mark Kleinschmidt told the crowd on Duke’s East Campus.

Kleinschmidt touted state appeals court judge candidate John Arrowood as the first openly gay man who could win a statewide election.

“If we fail to elect John and we fail to elect a president, a governor and a U.S. senator who recognizes us, the blame belongs with us,” he said.


Kleinschmidt and others celebrated the late Chapel Hill Town Council member Joe Herzenberg, who in 1987 became the first openly gay elected official in North Carolina. The path to the stage passed beneath a 20-foot-high inflated arch — the Rainbow Memorial Arch — in Herzenberg’s honor. He died in October.

“His election opened the door for the rest of us who followed,” said Orange County Commissioner Mike Nelson, former mayor of Carrboro.

…”Pray-away-the-gay Sarah Palin must be stopped,” said parade chairwoman Sharon Thompson, a family lawyer specializing in protecting the rights of gay and lesbian parents.

Here’s video of Obama Pride marchers:

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding