SAN DIEGO (KOGO) – An historic San Diego church is lit up with all the colors of the rainbow.
Colored lights representing the colors of the LGBT Pride Flag shined on the walls of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Bankers Hill Wednesday evening, during the church’s annual Light Up the Cathedral event for San Diego Pride Week.
“St. Paul’s Cathedral has been an open an affirming congregation as long it has been a cathedral, which goes back 40 years,” says the Very Rev. Penny Bridges, Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral. “It was open and affirming in a quieter way until maybe 12 years ago when a situation arose when a well-known gay man died and needed to be buried and St. Pauls’ stepped forward to do that. It sort of opened up our name to the LGBTQ community.”
Rev. Bridges is referring to the 2005 death of San Diego businessman John McCusker, who was denied a funeral by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego after church officials learned he was the owner of two gay bars.
“Saint Paul’s has always been known as a progressive congregation,” Bridges said, adding several of her church members and leaders identify as LGBT.
The lighting took place after an interfaith gathering of word and prayer featuring representatives of different Christian churches as well as those from other faiths, including members of the Kumeyaay tribe, who offered a traditional blessing.
St. Paul’s installed the light fixtures along the exterior walls of the cathedral building about six years ago, which made the church campus more visible at night, especially for those flying into San Diego International Airport.
“We wanted to be visible, we wanted to be a beacon on the hill, on Bankers Hill, for the city,” said Rev. Bridges. “The rainbow of course is a symbol for the LGBT community, it’s a very strong symbol in the Pride celebration.”
Rainbow colors also adorned the inside of the cathedral during the gathering. San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, Police Chief David Nisleit and Sheriff Bill Gore were among the civic leaders in attendance. The event was co-sponsored by the San Diego Pride foundation.
You can see photos and video from the event below.