By Maria Rocha-Buschel
New York’s gay and LGBT pride march, held last Sunday, came at a particularly appropriate time this year as it was scheduled just two days after the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on same-sex marriage.
State Senator Brad Hoylman, the state’s only openly-gay senator and a participant in the parade last weekend, cheered the ruling.
“As a gay husband and father, I’m extremely proud to be an American today,” Hoylman said. “LGBT couples everywhere will now enjoy the same basic civil right that New York State granted back in 2011. It’s exciting to think that one day my four-year old daughter will read about Obergefell v. Hodges in school and understand the transformative effect the case is bound to have on LGBT families in our country.”
In recognition of the decision and in honor of Pride Week, Governor Andrew Cuomo directed that the spire of One World Trade Center be lit up in rainbow hues on Sunday night. Cuomo, who signed same-sex marriage legislation in 2011, also marched in the parade and having recently been granted the authority to officiate marriages, conducted a ceremony at the Stonewall Inn on the morning before the march.
“New York has been a leader in the fight for marriage equality, and today’s Supreme Court decision affirms what we have fought so hard for – that marriage is a fundamental right that should be afforded to everyone, regardless of whom they love,” Cuomo said following the ruling. “Dividing people into first and second-class citizens is not only wrong, it runs contrary to who we are as a nation.”
Sir Derek Jacobi and Sir Ian McKellen, who star in the PBS show “Vicious” together, shared the honor of being grand marshals of the parade this year.
Groups marching in the parade, which included Marriage Equality USA, The Department of Health, Broadway Impact, the NYPD, the FDNY, Gay Geeks of NY and others, as well as sponsors like Whole Foods, Netflix, Chase Bank, Chipotle and even Walmart, had to endure an uncomfortable mist and light rain for the first half of the afternoon when the parade started at 12 p.m. from 36th Street, but the weather cleared up and the sun was out a few hours later.
While the majority of the spectators were supportive and celebratory, the event also saw the usual smattering of religious protesters, including a group called the Jewish Political Action Committee. The New York Times reported that the group was actually not protesting on its own behalf but had hired Mexican laborers to protest for them since the yeshiva students who would normally demonstrate couldn’t because of “what they would see” at the march.
Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel