CO Springs LGBTQ community celebrates one year of marriage equality

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — One year ago Sunday, the Supreme Court made a landmark decision to legalize same-sex marriage across the country.

It’s an exciting time for the LGBTQ community as they also celebrate pride month around the world.

Springs Equality held a one-year anniversary celebration in front of City Hall, hoping to spread a message of love and equality.

“We’ve waited so long for this basic human right,” event organizer Jake Walker, President and CEO of Springs Equality, said.

It’s a bittersweet moment for the group, as they celebrate one year of marriage equality just two weeks after tragedy struck the LGBTQ community.

“There’s been a lot of mourning and grieving about the tragedy in Orlando, and now we’re here celebrating a truly momentous event,” Mary Malia, Executive Director of Inside Out Youth Services, said.

They say the attack has reawakened their community and inspired allies to get involved in the fight for equal rights and respect.

“It’s just another symbol of how our community, how our country is understanding that everybody deserves the same rights,” Malia said.

“I am proud to be in a place where this has been passed and proud to be in a community that does support it this much,” Alison Garscadden said.

While the LGBTQ community still has a long road ahead of them when it comes to equal rights, they say they’ve also come a long way.

“For young people to know, to have that hope of marrying the person they fall in love with is a really big deal,” Malia said.

“We are so fortunate to grow up, at least my generation, in this day and age where we have that because the generation before us didn’t have that,” Walker said. “Love knows no gender and we’re just so happy.”

Many other celebratory events took place across the country, but this year, with heightened security.

In New York, about 2 million people took part in their Pride parade and thousands of uniformed officers were on duty.

In Chicago, nearly 1 million people watched as marchers carried photos of the 49 victims killed in Orlando on June 12.

The city also increased their patrol by more than 200 officers.

Here locally, the group we spoke to say even though they’ve made progress, their fight for equal rights isn’t over.

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