US rul­ing makes pride pa­rades his­toric, ju­bi­lant

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY JANIE HAR

Hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple on Sun­day packed gay pride events across the U.S. from New York to San Fran­cisco, with over­all at­ten­dance ex­pected in the mil­lions for what amounted to a cel­e­bra­tion of a freshly en­dorsed right to marry.

In San Fran­cisco, a pa­rade that at times re­sem­bled a rain­bow-col­ored dance party snaked through down­town. Cheer­lead­ers, dancers and proud fam­i­lies of les­bians and gays swooped up Mar­ket Street as spec­ta­tors 10 to 15 peo­ple lined both sides of the street.

There were “Hooray for Gay” and “Love Won” signs. There were rain­bow flags and knee socks, um­brel­las and tu­tus.

SF Pride Board Pres­i­dent Gary Vir­ginia said the ex­u­ber­ance was am­pli­fied given Fri­day’s U.S. Supreme Court rul­ing that same-sex cou­ples can wed in all 50 states. Still, he said more needs to be done in hous­ing and job dis­crim­i­na­tion in the United States and for les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der peo­ple around the world.

“To­day, we celebrate,” Vir­ginia said. “To­mor­row, we get back to work.”

Hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple packed gay pride events from Chicago to New York City, Seat­tle to San Fran­cisco, with over­all at­ten­dance for events ex­pected in the mil­lions. In New York City, or­ga­niz­ers ex­pected about 22,000 peo­ple to march while in San Fran­cisco, or­ga­niz­ers put the num­ber at 26,000.

New York Gov. An­drew Cuomo used newly granted pow­ers to of­fi­ci­ate at the wed­ding cer­e­mony of a same-sex cou­ple in Man­hat­tan. It was held in front of the Stonewall Inn, where in 1969 gay bar pa­trons stood up to a po­lice raid, launch­ing the mod­ern gay rights move­ment.

State law did not al­low Cuomo to of­fi­ci­ate at wed­ding cer­e­monies un­til last week. The au­thor­ity to do so was granted as part of a slew of leg­is­la­tion passed days ago.

Nikita Low­ery, a 28-year-old res­i­dent of Chicago, said she de­cided to at­tend that city’s pa­rade for the first time this year. “I feel like it’s a true cel­e­bra­tion now,” she said.

At gay pride pa­rades in Paris and other cities out­side the U.S. on Satur­day, the U.S. Supreme Court’s rul­ing was hailed by many as a wa­ter­shed.

“Soon in all coun­tries we will be able to marry,” said Ce­line Sch­le­witz, a 25-year-old nurse tak­ing part in the Paris pa­rade. “Fi­nally a free­dom for ev­ery­one.”

Street cel­e­bra­tions were boosted Satur­day in Dublin, where Ire­land mounted the big­gest gay rights pa­rade in the coun­try’s history.

More than 60,000 peo­ple pa­raded at the cul­mi­na­tion of a week­long gay rights fes­ti­val in the Ir­ish cap­i­tal. While the mood was al­ready high fol­low­ing Ire­land’s ref­er­en­dum last month to le­gal­ize gay mar­riage — be­com­ing the first na­tion to do so by pop­u­lar vote — many marchers said the Supreme Court rul­ing pro­vided a bonus rea­son to celebrate.

In Tur­key, po­lice used wa­ter can­nons to clear a rally Sun­day in Is­tan­bul. Be­tween 100 and 200 marchers were chased away from Tak­sim Square af­ter a po­lice ve­hi­cle fired sev­eral jets of wa­ter to dis­perse the crowd. It wasn’t clear why the po­lice in­ter­vened in the peace­ful rally. The crowd re­grouped a few blocks away.

In San Fran­cisco, po­lice say a by­stander was shot at a gay pride event at the city’s civic cen­ter Satur­day when sev­eral men got into an ar­gu­ment un­re­lated to the cel­e­bra­tion. A 64-year-old man was shot in the arm, and he is ex­pected to sur­vive, Of­fi­cer Car­los Manfredi said on Sun­day.

Dykes on Bikes tra­di­tion­ally kicks off the city’s Pride pa­rade. Riders revved their en­gines for five min­utes and re­ceived a sprin­kling of sil­ver glit­ter from a by­stander be­fore set­ting off at 10:30 a.m. to hoots and cheers and un­bri­dled ap­plause.

AP

Rafael Gondim, left, kisses his five-year-old son Gabriel King, as his hus­band Court­ney King holds the child while the trio march down Fifth Av­enue dur­ing the Her­itage Pride March in New York, Sun­day, June 28.

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