Themed "It's Time," Palm Springs Pride Parade celebrates recent strides toward equality

Palm Springs Pride Parade celebrates recent strides toward equality

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - "It's time, we've been struggling with this for many many years and to finally feel accepted in the community is great," said Palm Springs resident Donna Boatman.  

"it's time for equality," said Brooke Jordan, who came to the parade from Los Angeles. 

Appropriately themed "It's Time," this year's Palm Springs Pride Parade was a triumphant celebration of recent strides toward equality.

After a long fight, California became the 12th state to legalize gay marriage when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Proposition 8. 

"This is a first opportunity for people in the Coachella Valley to celebrate the win in the Supreme Court and the fall of DOMA," said Ron DeHarte, president of Greater Palm Springs Pride, the nonprofit organization that puts on the parade each year.

"Our society seems to be changing to accept everything gay," Boatman said. 

Boatman lives in Palm Springs and came to the parade with her partner and sister. She's proud to be part of the close-knit LGBT community in the desert.

"It's fun for everyone to come together at one event and just have a fun day," Boatman said. 

TV host and comedian Ross Mathews served as this year's celebrity grand marshal. He recently bought a home in Palm Springs.

Fans greeted him with welcoming cheers as he drove by blowing kisses in a yellow convertible.

"He's really involved with the local community and is a spokeperson for equal rights on a national level so he was a perfect choice to be the celebrity grand marshal," DeHarte said. 

Thousands of out-of-town visitors came for what event organizers called the biggest parade in Palm Springs history. Many have attended other city Prides, but the grandeur of the festivities here left a lasting impression.   

"It's one of the nicest prides in the country," said Ernesto Rives Lopez, who was visiting from San Diego.

"What an opportunity for all of us to share one another's love," said Todd Fonley, who comes to the parade each year from Los Angeles. 

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