Hundreds Celebrate Gay Pride in Downtown Mobile

Hundreds Celebrate Gay Pride in Downtown Mobile

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MOBILE, Ala. -

Downtown Mobile looked more colorful Saturday afternoon, as hundreds gathered to celebrate gay pride.

Businesses, church groups, and individuals paraded through the streets, hoping to spread a message of equal rights for all.

"We need to share the word of love, that's the main message that we're trying to get out," said Edward Lee Wiggins with Mobile Alabama Pride. "Without love, where would we be?"

Saturday's event comes just two days after Rhode Island became the tenth state to legalize gay marriage; a sign of progress for James Weaver and Darrel Foret of Mobile who were married exactly one year ago on May 4, 2012.

"We got married last year, in Central Park, on today. So it's our anniversary!" said Darrel Foret.

When asked if they thought Alabama would ever legalize gay marriage: "We're hoping for it. We don't really see it in our lifetime, in Alabama," said James Weaver.

Many people at the event say they feel like slowly but surely, society is becoming more accepting of their differences.

"It's fun for somebody that's my age," said Bryan Stine with the Order of Osiris Mardi Gras Association. "To see the younger people coming out. Because you know, when you're 44 years old and you see the younger kids coming out and they're accepted in their youth, to be proud of who they are and not be discriminated against, I think that's a good thing."

"We're here, we're queer, get used to it. And we say it with a smile and with love and compassion," said Lisa Teggart. A member of MCC Cornerstone, a non-denominational church, Lisa says "Pride 365" is more peaceful than it used to be.

"Years ago there were protesters, and they would stand at the corner and shout. And our church would make sure that they had water, and offer them umbrellas, because the sun is pretty strong out here."

According to a recent Gallup Poll, about 2.8% of people in Alabama considered themselves LGBT, compared to a nationwide average of 3.5%.

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