The following comes from a May 21 Press-Telegram article by Greg Yee:

The Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Festival got off to a rousing start Saturday with tens of thousands expected to attend the annual event and Pride Parade today.

A mass same-sex wedding ceremony, celebrating the June 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision that gave same-sex couples across the country the right to marry, kicked off the parade at 9:45 a.m. at Ocean Boulevard and Junipero Avenue.

Vanessa Garcia, a teacher at Alliance Cindy and Bill Simon Technology Academy High School in Watts, brought students to the festival and hopes to turn it into an annual excursion.

Steven Nadolny, a member of Comunidad, the lesbian and gay ministry at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Long Beach, said his church has been participating in Long Beach Pride events for at least 20 years.

“It’s important to let lesbian and gay Catholics know that they’re welcome,” Nadolny said.

There have been some promising actions taken by Pope Francis, but progress is far from complete, he said.

“I’m sort of bi-faithful,” Nadolny said, pointing to a ring on his finger. “I got married Episcopalian (because the Catholic Church does not recognize same-sex marriage).”

Nevertheless, he is hopeful that faith will help bring people together.

[Link to Comunidad, the Lesbian and Gay Ministry at St. Matthew’s Church, Long Beach, CA.]