Again and again, speakers asked the crowd not to blame the black community. "We did not lose the fight because of African Americans," said Lorri L. Jean, 51, chief executive of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.
An unusual bride
Many demonstrators in San Francisco took their dogs to the rally, but few stood out more than Aidan, a Finnish spitz whose head was covered in a long white veil.
Her owners, Emily Drennen and her wife, Lindasusan Ulrich, said Aidan was their symbolic bridesmaid.
During the course of a turbulent decade for gay marriage, the couple have been married three times. "To each other," Ulrich quickly clarified.
They wed in 2003, before gay marriage was legal. A year later, when San Francisco began marrying gay couples, they married again, only to see the courts annul their union.
Last month, Ulrich, 39, and Drennen, 35, went through another ceremony in the wake of the state Supreme Court's landmark ruling that legalized gay marriage. "And we want to stay married," said Drennen, who along with her wife was dressed in a bridal gown.
A crowd embraces
The Rev. Penny Nixon, senior minister at the Congregational Church of San Mateo, led the rally in a massive group hug in San Francisco.
"You are loved, and no one can take that away," she told the crowd. Demonstrators cheered and began hugging one another, repeating her words.
Garrison and Knoll are Times staff writers.
Times staff writers Alicia Lozano and Jack Leonard contributed to this report.