Metro Weekly

Capital Pride Parade names three additional grand marshals

Jim Obergefell, Mandy Carter, and Nicole Murray-Ramirez will join grand marshal Edie Windsor for June 10 celebration

Jim Obergefell – Photo: Human Rights Campaign.

On Tuesday, the Capital Pride Alliance named three LGBTQ activists grand marshals of the Capital Pride Parade, joining Grand Marshal Edie Windsor.

Jim Obergefell, Mandy Carter, and Nicole Murray-Ramirez will join Windsor, the plaintiff in the landmark gay rights case that overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, and the winners of Capital Pride’s Heroes and Engendered Spirits Awards, in marching in the annual parade. They will also attend the “Crack of Noon” Pride Brunch at The Showroom DC earlier that day. 

The parade, which draws about 125,000 spectators annually, kicks off at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, beginning at 22nd and P Streets, NW, and winding through the Dupont and Logan Circle neighborhoods for 1.5 miles until its end, near 14th and R Streets, NW.

“We are honored to have such a diverse cross-section of the community as Capital Pride Parade Grand Marshals,” Ryan Bos, the executive director of the Capital Pride Alliance, said in a statement. “The combined commitment and accomplishments of these Grand Marshals in advancing the LGBTQ struggle is inspiring, and we hope their presence inspires and energizes everyone, especially new activists, in these challenging times.”

Obergefell gained prominence after he sued the state of Ohio to list him as the surviving spouse on the death certificate of his late husband John Arthur. Due to Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage, the couple was forced to travel to Maryland so they could legally marry before Arthur died. Obergefell’s case eventually reached the Supreme Court, which issued a sweeping decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

Mandy Carter – Photo: National Black Justice Coalition, via Wikimedia.

Carter, a social justice activist whose activism dates back to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Poor People’s Campaign” in 1968, is the national coordinator of the Bayard Rustin Commemoration Project of the National Black Justice Coalition. She is a co-founder of both NBJC and Southerners on New Ground, an organization which integrates combating homophobia into fights for justice for working-class people, people of color, undocumented immigrants, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups.

Murray-Ramirez is a Human Rights Commissioner in San Diego who was elected as the chair of the first mayoral GLBT Advisory Board and the first GLBT Advisory Board to the chief of police. He founded the San Diego County Hate Crimes Fund, the Harvey Milk Student Scholarship, and the Ben Dillingham III Community Fund, which has helped pay for the burials and cremation of low-income  residents, many of whom were victims of the AIDS epidemic.

Nicole Murray-Ramirez – Photo: Facebook.

Murray-Ramirez has also served as a national board member of the Human Rights Campaign and the National LGBTQ Task Force, and National Chair of LLEGO. He is currently the International Chair of the International Imperial Court System, where he holds the title “Queen Mother I of the Americas.”

“This year’s Pride theme is ‘Unapologetically Proud. The accomplishments for which we have fought so hard and struggled so long are in peril, and LGBTQ communities across the nation are joining together with each other and across civil rights communities to proclaim that the rights we’ve secured are here to stay and we will fight any attempts to destroy the profess we have made,” Bernie Delia, the president of the Capital Pride Alliance Board, said in a statement. “We will never turn back.”

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com