Downtown Preparing For Pittsburgh Pride Weekend
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh LGBT community will have a lot to celebrate at this year’s Pride.
With the recent federal court decision overturning the ban on gay marriage, some couples are gearing up for weddings.
Mayor Bill Peduto said that he will officiate the weddings of 20 same-sex couples during the Pittsburgh Pride event this weekend.
Dennis Mowrey and Ray Sager applied for their marriage license 24 hours after the law said they could. That was back in May, and now their invitations have gone out.
All that is left is the “I do’s,’ and these guys are excited.
They have their rings and they know what they will be wearing for the Sunday morning ceremony.
“We are wearing black tuxes, red vests, white shirts, red ties and red corner pocket squares,” they say.
Mowrey and Sager are proud to be a part of the group wedding ceremony at City Council Chambers Sunday at 11 a.m.
The couple has been together for 13 years and many of those years were spent fighting for this day. They shared with KDKA’s Brenda Waters a newspaper picture of them marching back in 2006.
“This isn’t about gay marriage, it isn’t about same-sex marriage… it’s about marriage,” said Sager.
Mayor Peduto’s office agrees with that, and as a part of Pittsburgh Pride will marry 20 couples. Many of them are coming in from other states for the ceremony, like Sameer Samudra and his partner from Columbus, Indiana.
“This is a huge deal for the City of Pittsburgh and the state of Pennsylvania for all of the parties involved,” Katie O’Malley, the assistant communications manager for the mayor’s office, said. “It’s also a really special day.”
From the ceremony, the couples and the mayor will join the Pride march, walking behind a banner that reads “just married.”
A special reception is planned and donated by the Fairmont Hotel complete with a champagne toast by the mayor. And, of course, there will be cake. Twenty of them, courtesy of pastry chef James Wroblewski.
“This is going to be a vanilla pound cake with raspberry jam and vanilla butter cream,” said Wroblewski.
Saturday will also feature “Pride in the Street” with a performance by Chaka Khan.
With the celebrations will come some road closures as well.
Parts of Liberty Avenue and Smithfield Street will be shut down.
And on Sunday, you can expect more street closures for the annual “Pride March.” That takes place from noon to 1 p.m.
The parade route starts on the Boulevard of the Allies, then heads to Grant Street, to Fifth Avenue, to Liberty Avenue and ends at Sixth and Liberty.
Then, the PrideFest celebration begins at Seventh and Liberty.
Road Closures, Restrictions For Pittsburgh Pride Event (6/10/14)
Thousands Celebrate After Ban On Gay Marriage Lifted (5/20/14)
More Reports by Brenda Waters