Organizers of San Francisco’s LGBT parade and celebration have announced that this year’s festivities will highlight immigration and civil rights.
Maysam Sodagari, a legal immigrant from Iran, will speak on the main stage at the “celebration/rally,” the Pride Committee said in an email Wednesday (April 18).
Sodagari, who has a PhD in chemical engineering, has been living in the U.S for nine years, Pride organizers said. U.S. Customs officials detained him during President Donald Trump’s executive order to prohibit people coming from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. That order and Trump’s subsequent Muslim ban were both blocked by judges.
This year’s celebration and parade, themed “A Celebration of Diversity,” are set for June 24-25.
In solidarity with the resistance movement that’s been building since Trump’s election in November, longtime gay activist Cleve Jones, 2017 grand marshal Alex U. Inn, and members of Pride board “will lead this year’s parade/march with a resistance contingent,” organizers said.
“This contingent will stand in defiance to the policies and actions of the current administration that threaten the most vulnerable members of our community and undermine the hard-fought victories we have secured in our fight for equal rights,” according to the release from Pride.
Pride board President Michelle Meow stated, “San Francisco Pride was born out of a protest in order to fight for LGBTQ liberation. The current actions to regress on the progress we’ve made in the last 47 years” since the city’s first Pride celebration “are a threat not only to our community, but also a threat to American democracy. We will show the world our unity, love, and resilience through the freedom of expression for which SF Pride has traditionally provided a platform. We are proud to stand in solidarity with all of our communities, whether it’s sending a message through a peaceful protest or celebrating our beautiful diversity. We will stand up for human rights and resist against any actions that threaten our existence.”
For more information, go to www.sfpride.org.