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LGBT Pride Events Kick Off In San Diego

A rainbow flag is displayed at the State Building on Front Street in downtown San Diego, July 17, 2015.
Matthew Bowler
A rainbow flag is displayed at the State Building on Front Street in downtown San Diego, July 17, 2015.

San Diego LGBT Pride events kicked off Friday morning with a display of a rainbow flag at the State Building downtown.

The oversized flag was draped on the east side of the building and will remain there through the weekend, according to the office of Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego.

The speaker received permission from Gov. Jerry Brown to display the flag to honor the gay and lesbian community, following the June 26 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.


The flag unveiling was just the beginning of several events throughout the weekend, and organizers are expecting record crowds.

Jennifer Sieber with San Diego Pride said the economic impact goes well beyond the city.

"It's a much bigger draw. We're a big destination city, so San Diego Pride works with regional and international pride organizations," Sieber said. "We have people who fly in from all over the world."

San Diego State Center for Hospitality and Tourism Research found in 2014 that 43 percent of people attending the events were gay and lesbian, while the exact same total were heterosexual. Of the 100,000 people who attended the parade, 19,000 came from outside San Diego County.

The events pumped $10.9 million into the local economy.


The annual Spirit of Stonewall Rally, which commemorates a 1969 protest against police harassment in New York, is set to begin at 6 p.m. at Marston Point in Balboa Park. The fourth annual Pride of Hillcrest Block Party is scheduled to begin at the same time at the intersection of University Avenue and Normal Street.

The annual pride parade is set for Saturday at 11 a.m. along University Avenue in Hillcrest. A music festival will be held Saturday and Sunday in Balboa Park.

"Pride is for everyone — whether you're a lesbian or gay or bisexual or transgender or a straight ally, we want everyone there," Stephen Whitburn of San Diego Pride said at a City Council meeting earlier this week.

"Pride is about having tens of thousands of people of all different stripes coming together to celebrate who they are and to celebrate each other," Whitburn said.

Information about pride events is at, or visit our events page.