Monday, June 18, 2012
Baltimore's picturesque Pride festival at Druid Hill
I visited Baltimore’s Pride Festival in Druid Hill Park yesterday. It was very similar to the festival during my last visit in 2010.
In the 1990s, Baltimore held the small festival Sundays in a recessed level plain in the park, also near the old Memorial Stadium.
You pay $5 to park, on a maze of unnamed streets that crisscross the park, leading to the Zoo.
Blue Angels flew overhead, sometimes drowning out the hip-hop and then Balinese concert on the stage.
The Libertarian Party had a booth, and told me that the person at the DC booth had been Montgomery County congressional candidate (District 5 – that’s not “District 9”) Arvin Vohra (Facebook site). His page says bluntly, “if somebody else’s gay marriage threatens your heterosexual marriage, you are too weak and too stupid to live in a free society”. He also says that government has no place in defining or licensing marriage (as with the famous GLIL Quill essay "Licensed Expired" by Gene Cisewski in 1996). But that’s something I remember about my 1961 college expulsion from William and Mary. My presence in the dorm was viewed as a “threat” to the “normal function” in the future of other guys. The military gay ban was at one time partly based on a somewhat similar belief. Vohra apprears to be in the education business with a company that reminds me of the Khan Academy. The link for his company is here.
The festival, while small, was heavily attended, maybe a few thousand people. There were volleyball courts at the site (reminding one of DC’s old bar “Tracks” in the 1990s), and there were “hunger games” all the time.
HRC had a small booth. There was a large presence of volunteers garnering support for a successful outcome from the marriage referendum in November.
One of the cars, a pickup, had a banner that supported the recent repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and at the same time said that the owner had served in Iraq.
I also noticed that some Maryland auto license plates have support for marriage equality written into the plate. I don't know how much this endorsement costs.
Druids were "priests" in prehistoric Britain, according to Wikipedia. That's an interesting name for a venue.