Monday, June 27, 2011

New Yorkers Show Their Pride on 5th Avenue.

Yesterday marked the 42nd annual Pride Parade in New York City, a tradition that began in 1970, shortly after the gay rights movement took off in 1969 at the now famous Stonewall Inn. The parade, which began at 36th Street and 5th Avenue, continued down 5th Avenue all the way to the West Village. As most New Yorkers know by now, this is an especially historic year, as New York recently became the sixth state in the nation to pass a marriage equality bill or, in other words, to legalize gay marriage. (Curious how your Senator voted? Click here, a site to which I was directed from Gothamist).

2011 Pride March 
As always, the parade was full of wonderful, colorful people and costumes, and spectators were treated to over an hour's worth of performances, floats and a multitude of marching groups. The vibe was decidedly different this year as participants and spectators really had something to celebrate -- not just their pride in who they are, but the long-deserved recognition of equal marriage rights for all couples. (Although the bill came with an exemption for religious institutions, in that they can refuse to carry out a same-sex marriage, this appears, for now, to strike a relative balance between religious tolerance/freedom and civil rights).
Colorful and Intricate Costumes
Some of the loudest cheers during the parade were heard when Governor Cuomo passed by, and signs reading "Thank you Governor Cuomo" on one side, and "Promise Kept" on the other, could not be missed. Other notable politicians included Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Jerry Nadler, to name a few. The parade of notables seemed never ending, from stellar performances by organizations such as The Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band, to intricate floats from non-profit organizations such as The Door and Green Chimneys, and even participation by some large corporations such as Delta, and white-shoe law firm It just goes to show that there is no dividing line when it comes to equality.

Company Float - Green Chimneys
Congratulations New York on a banner year and a parade that will not soon be forgotten.

UPDATE: Commenter Jenny A. also spotted NYC Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn at the parade, NYC's first "out" councilwoman, and a longtime proponent of marriage equality.  Thanks for the tip, Jenny!

1 comment:

  1. Can't forget about Christine Quinn! I was o happy to see her there. And the Peruvians were spectacular!