Capital Pride 2013: Supreme Court decisions weigh on activists

Gay rights supporters and activists marched in Saturday's Capital Pride Parade. Photo: Mike Conneen

As revelers soaked up the spirit at Saturday's Capital Pride Parade in Washington, many minds continue to be directed not just on the District of Columbia's annual show of pride and support for the gay community.

While they partied near Logan Circle, most are keeping a close eye on the stately Supreme Court building sitting just miles away.

This year's parade drew an estimated 100,000 people to the 14th Street corridor to get a glimpse of the celebration. But along with festive floats and dancers, there are serious political issues to deal with, including marriage equality.

Later this month, the Supreme Court will decide on two key gay rights issues. They include whether or not same sex marriage is legal in California and if the Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents partners in gay marriages from collecting benefits, is constitutional.

Many activists simply aren't sure what will happen.

"You can't be overly optimistic with this court," gay rights supporter and D.C. resident Neil Starkey said. "They'll find some way to weasel around it."

Others, though, choose to remain optimistic, saying that the rulings could be a watershed moment in the battle for gay rights.

"I still have a sense of 'We've won the battle,' but we still have to keep fighting to win the war," gay rights activist Lindsay Katt said. "Progress is progress."

Decisions in both SCOTUS cases are likely to be released by the end of June. Meanwhile, the march to equality continues state-by-state.

On Thursday, Delaware's Senate approved a bill adding gender identity to the state's anti-discrimination laws.