By Melanie Nathan, June 24, 2012.
Amidst a sea of rainbows, over one million people lined the streets of San Francisco and cheered as Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo, the heroic clergyman and LGBT rights ally activist from Uganda, made his way through the San Francisco Pride 2012 route, as its Global Grand Marshall leading a fitting theme, “Global Equality.”
Bishop Christopher who had been ordained into the priesthood in 1964 in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, served the Church of Uganda, was elevated to bishop in 1974, and had his functions revoked by the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda when he began his work for the human rights of Uganda’s LGBT community. In 2010 he was included in Huffington Post religion’s 10 most influential people of 2010.
Today San Francisco showed its appreciation to the Bishop for his commitment to fighting global homophobia.
Wearing a baseball cap saying “Legalize Love” the Bishop told me “I am overwhelmed by how many people are here. ” The Bishop has had to fend off threats of retribution for the work he is doing.
The Bishop kicked off the parade with a moving speech after a Eucharist at Spear and Market attended by scores of clergy from around the Bay Area.
Bishop Senyonjo, together with Rev. Canon Albert Ogle of the St. Paul’s Foundation International, from San Diego, who accompanied him on the route, submitted the winning theme.
Bishop Senyonjo has been visiting the United States to raise awareness for the plight of LGBT Ugandans and others in the 76 countries which currently criminalize LGBTI people.
San Francisco Pride parade is a world-renowned LGBT pride parade. Thousands of people participated, marching along the route which ran along San Francisco’s Market Street, from Beale Street to 8th Street.The parade consists of hundreds of contingents from various groups and organizations. The contingents encompass a wide variety of individuals, politicians, honorees and organizations and congregations.
READ MORE and Support the Bishop’s work here http://stpaulsfoundation.com/Center_For_Devel___Recon.php
Photos by Melanie Nathan© 2012.