Gay pride parades step off across United States

Participants celebrate year of same-sex marriage victories
Associated Press
Jun 29, 2014

 

Gay pride parades stepped off around the nation on Sunday, in cities large and small, with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their supporters celebrating a year of same-sex marriage victories.

New York's Fifth Avenue became one giant rainbow as thousands of participants waved multicolored flags while making their way down the street. Politicians including Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo were among those walking along a lavender line painted on the avenue from midtown Manhattan to the West Village.

The parade marked the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the 1969 uprising against police raids that were a catalyst for the gay rights movement. The parade route passes The Stonewall Inn, the site of the riots.

In Chicago, as many as 1 million people were expected to pack the streets of the city's North Side for the first gay pride parade since Illinois legalized gay marriage last month.

Charlie Gurion, who with David Wilk in February became the first couple in Cook County to get a same-sex marriage license, said there was a different feel to the parade this year.

"I think there is definitely like an even more sense of pride now knowing that in Illinois you can legally get married now," Gurion said, as he posed for photograph after photograph with Wilk at the parade. "I think it is a huge thing and everybody's over the moon that they can do it now."

In San Francisco, hundreds of motorcyclists of the lesbian group Dykes on Bikes took their traditional spot at the head of the 44th annual parade and loudly kicked off the festivities with a combined roar. Apple Inc. had one of the largest corporate presences, and chief executive Tim Cook greeted the estimated 4,000 employees and family members who participated.

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and assorted state and local politicians rolled along Market Street along with gay city police officers holding hands with their significant others as their children skipped ahead.

For some veterans of the parade, the event has lost some its edge as it gains mainstream acceptance.

"There's less partying," said Larry Pettit, who said he attended the first parade more than four decades ago. "There's less sex. Everyone's interested in politics and no one is having sex."

A year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a pair of landmark rulings, one striking down the statute that denied federal recognition to same-sex marriages and the other clearing the way for gay couples to wed legally in California.

In the 12 months since then, the ripple effects of those rulings has transformed the national debate over same-sex marriage, convincing many people on both sides of the contentious issue that its spread nationwide is inevitable.

From the East Coast to the Midwest and the Pacific, seven more states legalized same-sex marriage, boosting the total to 19, plus Washington, D.C. The Obama administration moved vigorously to extend federal benefits to married gay couples. And in 17 consecutive court decisions, federal and state judges have upheld the right of gays to marry. Not a single ruling has gone the other way.

Parades also were planned Sunday across the U.S., including in Minneapolis, Seattle and Houston. Humbler celebrations were being held in smaller towns and cities such as Augusta, Georgia, and Floyd, Virginia, while festivals were held Saturday in France, Spain, Mexico and Peru.

Among the marchers Sunday in New York were cousins Yaseena Oatis, 20, and Shayna Melendez, 22, from Plainfield, New Jersey.

"We're walking to celebrate, to be embraced being who we are around people who are like us, free to express ourselves," Oatis said. "Everybody has a different story about how they came out as gay, but we're all here."

Comments

margaritaville88

REALLY?? That is so f-ing g.a.y.!!!

Stop It

:)

LookingDown

Why isn't someone that makes comments like this banned?

Stop It

Why should they be banned? Because some people took the name to be "happy" and turned it into people who are homosexual and now all of a sudden take it as offense?

freespeech1

Its called free speech. Just like the lgbt community wanted their rights. Many are against gay marriage and you are not gonna change that, and forcing it down the throats of everyone is not gonna help. I love the hypocrisy of the gay community, its seems they are the only ones that have rights and screw everyone else. Parades? Why? If you just live your lives and quit the theatrics maybe just maybe more would except your lifestyle. Parades of freaks looking like a bad remake of the Rocky Horror Picture does not help your cause.

Laughingatwttb

And what rights are you and everyone else being screwed out of exactly? My guess would be none. The parade is used to draw attention to their cause. I remember an older lady being quoted by a newspaper many years ago about the demonstrations of African Americans, she pretty much said the same thing you are saying. If they'd live their lives quietly and stop asking for trouble they'd be accepted. I'll look for the exact quote and leave it for you to read. If you've never been to a parade and are not planning on attending, then keep expecting the media to publish the most outrageous people at the parade. Boring doesn't draw attention to a cause, it's the flamboyant and the eccentric that are always published in just about all the papers.

swiss family

freespeech..you say that the gays want gay marriage, and that "they are not going to change that"?? well it does look like they are!!! and it really has not affected the sanctity of heterosexual marriage like all of the straight people declared it would, so you were wrong on that one..I also don't think I would have used the term "forcing it down or throats" as you did... it is just the mental picture that is hard to make go away... you talk about the hypocrisy of gays and say that it seems like they are the only ones with rights??? where do you get that?? tell that to Mathew Sheppard, as he took his last breath tied to a fence post after being beaten to a bloody pulp by people who did not even know him as a person... all they knew was that he loved differently than they did, and it bothered them so much that they beat him so bad and disfigured him so much that people thought that he was an actual Halloween decoration... and you think he had rights?? do you realize that there are over half of the states in the United states, where every man is supposed to be created equal, where a gay worker can be fired just for being gay.. they do not have to act out in any gay fashion, just have someone suspect that they are gay, and they are fired.. and you still think gays have all the rights?? oh yes, those damn gays want the right to marry the person that they love, just like every other "straight" person.. and you think that is asking for special rights?? the gays want to be listed as "family" onm their partners life insurance policy, and listed as family and as the person to decide what medical decisions that need to be made in stressful times, instead of the family.. who probably cut ties with their gay child years ago, and now they sweep in and make decisions not out of love, but out of greed... and you still think that is special rights???.. and Parades... OK lets talk about the parades..I will say I WAS like you I hated to see all of the prancing around... but then I went to other parades...local 4th of July parades, labor day parades... etc... and the groups that just marched by got to be boring, but the marching bands that had "flair, style and "IT" whatever that was, really made the parades fun, so why not with the gay parades also..obviously the gay community love the theater, and the shows, so let them have their fun and their time to do their show and enjoy it for what it is or stay home it is that simple.. I guarantee, no one is going to come running off the floats and running over to you to kiss you, you are safe..so enjoy it or stay away...I really hate to point this out to you sir, but most of the country has slowly taken the stick out of their behinds and realized that they are people who are someones sons or daughters, who are harmless , and maybe fun even.. try to get to know some of them, you might be surprised.and they do say 1 out of 10 people are gay, so look in your own family, and give them the gift of loving them if they want to come out, otherwise too many times their other option , especially when they have someone like you who is so dead set against the lifestyle, is suicide..and with that there are no second chances, no time to say I was wrong... it is forever...

Laughingatwttb

Very well said

freespeech1

Matt Shepard is a bad example,

http://www.theguardian.com/world...

red white and blue

^5

Fromthe419

I applaud them for their choice, but I will be even happier when there are hetero pride parades, single dad parades and single mom parades, why are these not done and celebrated? If we are going to have true equality then we should celebrate all choices of consenting adults, not just one segment of the population.

LookingDown

Because single mons and dads are not banned from doing things. Political officials use the law to stop marriages and equal rights for medical coverage! Your two comparisons are nothing alike!

coasterfan

Excellent point, LookingDown.

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

Men lusting for other men or women lusting for other women are not the natural affections God created men and women to have for one another.

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another”

coasterfan

God also didn't teach us to be judgemental of others.

Through scientific research, we now know that - for gay people - it IS natural to be attracted to someone of the same sex. You're welcome to believe the words written nearly 2000 years ago by men who had literally no scientific understanding of anything in the world. I think I'll instead listen to the scientific experts, and not ignore all of the proven research of the past 20-30 years.

whattheBucks

When i read the headline about stepping off across the US, I was really hoping these people were just walking off into the ocean .

The Answer Person

Yeah along with the lame OSU band.

whattheBucks

Good job staying on subject, but your band of choice is ???????

FlyBoy86

I'm so glad I live in a country where I'm free of religious persecution and the choice of living a lifestyle of my choosing without any repercussions...

Restless1

What a sorry state of affair.

pntbutterandjelly

What we really need are parades and demonstrations against the Plutocrats.

WeThePeople1965

While I support gay rights, I agree to a certain extent that parades are taking it a bit too far. But, the first amendment wasn't created to be limited.

coasterfan

Who are we to judge? I haven't been held back my entire life as these people have. If I were suddenly treated fairly/equally after a lifetime of discrimination, I might want to celebrate, too. It's not like our unfair treatment of gays is in the distant past. In a majority of U.S. states, they still can't even get married, one of the most basic of rights the rest of us enjoy.

WeThePeople1965

Yes, that is true, when you look at it from that angle.

mikeylikesit

freakin at the freakers ball!

be for real

That looks really queer to me

Stop It

It's still GAY as it can be.