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Thousands marched in New York's 49th annual gay pride parade amid political turmoil related to LGBTQ issues. Wochit-All

FILE - In this June 26, 2016, file photo, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, center, waves a flag as he walks in the New York City Pride Parade in New York. Duke has an opening on its men’s basketball schedule because of the state law that impacts LGBT people. The Blue Devils were supposed to play Albany on Nov. 12 as part of the Hall of Fame Tipoff tournament but there’s no opponent listed on that day in Duke’s schedule that was released Wednesday, July 13. Holly Liapis, spokeswoman for the State University of New York system that includes Albany, says that game won’t be played because of Cuomo’s executive order banning publicly funded, non-essential travel to North Carolina. Cuomo’s order is in response to a North Carolina law that opponents say can allow discrimination against LGBT people. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)(Photo: The Associated Press)

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NEW YORK – Thousands of people clad in rainbow colors marched Sunday through Greenwich Village and up Fifth Avenue for the annual Gay Pride parade, a massive celebration of LGBTQ identity.

One of this year's grand marshals is tennis legend Billie Jean King, along with transgender advocate Tyler Ford and the civil rights organization Lambda Legal.

Lady Gaga’s "Born This Way" blared from loudspeakers as people marched, danced, stomped and watched along the route. The attire at the 49th annual parade was loud and proud – rainbow suspenders, leopard heels, thongs and fairy wings.

But the jubilant mood was also tinged with frustration. Signs deriding President Donald Trump, who has not acknowledged LGBTQ Pride month for the second year in a row, rose above banners declaring love. 

The first Gay Pride parade was held in 1970 after the 1969 Stonewall Riots, a series of violent demonstrations against a police raid that targeted the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village. The parade was then more of a protest against discrimination than a celebration of diversity. 

The rights of LGBTQ people – those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer – have made great strides the past few decades, and the Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015 was a major victory for the  community. 

More: Why we have LGBTQ Pride and not 'Straight Pride'

More: Pride Month: How the travel industry is embracing the LGBTQ community

More: Gay Pride parades used to mean protests. Now they're an excuse for straight kids to party

But the Supreme Court ruled this month in favor of a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple on religious grounds. And Trump pushed for a ban on transgender people serving in the military.

Cities across the country hold pride parades and festivals throughout June. Other cities with parades Sunday include Chicago, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Seattle.

"I think the march is a good opportunity to showcase the variety of the LGBT community and a lot of the most pressing issues people are facing now,” said Ryan Thoreson, a researcher at Human Rights Watch who specializes in LGBTQ issues and attended the march.

People seemed particularly politically engaged this year, carrying signs that spoke to immigration and health care in addition to LGBTQ issues, he said.

Lavinia Draper is an entertainer at the Stonewall Inn. She says at 62, she’s no stranger to #NYCPride. #Pridepic.twitter.com/ulOqjPzOdN

— Alia E. Dastagir (@alia_e) June 24, 2018

Oh, hi. #NYCPride#Pridepic.twitter.com/W9GnCgpp6q

— Alia E. Dastagir (@alia_e) June 24, 2018

Maria, from Honduras, on why she’s attending her first #NYCPride: “Because he’s my son.” pic.twitter.com/zFahGVD3PN

— Alia E. Dastagir (@alia_e) June 24, 2018

"It was very loud, it was very jovial," said Kerri Berney, who is from New York City. Berney considers herself a "straight ally," and came to the parade to support LGBTQ family members. "Everyone was in a good mood."

Victoria Sax, 44, of Long Island marched Sunday in her first NYC Pride Parade. Sax, who identifies as gender fluid, wants to help increase visibility for the LGBTQ community.

Pride "means defiance. It means we're here. It means despite politicians that don't think we should exist, that we do," Sax said. "And we're going to show you that we do."

Simon reported from McLean, Va.

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One of the many colorful characters seen along the
One of the many colorful characters seen along the parade route during the 2018 New York City Pride March June 24, 2018. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer were among the politicians that took part in the march.   Seth Harrison/The Journal News>FullscreenNew York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and first lady Charlene
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and first lady Charlene McCray take part in the 2018 New York City Pride March June 24, 2018. De Blasio and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer were among the politicians that took part in the march.   Seth Harrison/The Journal News>FullscreenU.S. Senator Chuck Schumer takes part in the 2018 New
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer takes part in the 2018 New York City Pride March June 24, 2018. Schumer, along with New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio were among the politicians that marched in the parade.   Seth Harrison/The Journal News>FullscreenOne of the many colorful characters seen along the
One of the many colorful characters seen along the parade route during the 2018 New York City Pride March June 24, 2018. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer were among the politicians that took part in the march.  Seth Harrison/The Journal News>FullscreenTennis great Bille Jean King, poses with Kenita Placide,
Tennis great Bille Jean King, poses with Kenita Placide, left, a human rights and LGBT activist, and transgender activist Twinkle Bissoon after the three marched in the 2018 New York City Pride March June 24, 2018. King and Placide were among the four parade grand marshals.   Seth Harrison/The Journal News>FullscreenThousands lined the streets along the parade route
Thousands lined the streets along the parade route in Manhattan for the 2018 New York City Pride March June 24, 2018. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer were among the politicians that took part in the march.   Seth Harrison/The Journal News>FullscreenThousands lined the streets along the parade route
Thousands lined the streets along the parade route in Manhattan for the 2018 New York City Pride March June 24, 2018. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer were among the politicians that took part in the march.   Seth Harrison/The Journal News>FullscreenOne of the many colorful characters seen along the
One of the many colorful characters seen along the parade route during the 2018 New York City Pride March June 24, 2018. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer were among the politicians that took part in the march.   Seth Harrison/The Journal News>FullscreenThousands lined the streets along the parade route
Thousands lined the streets along the parade route in Manhattan for the 2018 New York City Pride March June 24, 2018. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer were among the politicians that took part in the march.   Seth Harrison/The Journal News>FullscreenOne of the faces seen along the parade route during
One of the faces seen along the parade route during the 2018 New York City Pride March June 24, 2018. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer were among the politicians that took part in the march.   Seth Harrison/The Journal News>FullscreenThousands lined the streets along the parade route
Thousands lined the streets along the parade route in Manhattan for the 2018 New York City Pride March June 24, 2018. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer were among the politicians that took part in the march.   Seth Harrison/The Journal News>FullscreenMarchers walk the parade route during the 2018 New
Marchers walk the parade route during the 2018 New York City Pride March June 24, 2018. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer were among the politicians that took part in the march.   Seth Harrison/The Journal News>FullscreenThousands lined the streets along the parade route
Thousands lined the streets along the parade route in Manhattan for the 2018 New York City Pride March June 24, 2018. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer were among the politicians that took part in the march.   Seth Harrison/The Journal News>Fullscreen

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    Source : https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/06/24/new-york-gay-pride-parade-lgbtq/728922002/

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