Scenes from Pride parades across the country
Millions of people are expected to take part part in day-long pride parades, marches and festivities in major cities across the country just two days after the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is a right nationwide.
The Pride March in New York City has been going on for 45 years to commemorate the Stonewall Inn riots that took place in 1969, but this year’s parade is especially historic following the landmark ruling.
The march, which kicked off at noon, is expected to draw record crowds during its two-mile route down Fifth Avenue, with 22,000 marchers, 344 groups and over two million spectators. Around 300 floats will be featured, which will be judged in various categories, including best dressed, most original, best use of rainbow colors and best representation of the LGBT community.
Before the start of the march, Gov. Andrew Cuomo addressed supporters in front of The Stonewall Inn, where over three decades ago, gay community members fought back after police raids, igniting the tumultuous fight for LGBT rights that continues today. He declared a “proud day for America.”
“Equality is not a choice. Equality is a promise,” Cuomo said, adding “My friends, today is a good day. Because at the end of the day, love wins today. And any day that love wins, is a good day.”
In New York City’s flatiron district, 10 blocks south of the parade’s start, revelers danced down Fifth Avenue to the sounds of Bruno Mars and Madonna, waving rainbow flags and chanting, “All 50 states.” Sir Ian Mckellen served as one of this year’s grand marshals, and refused to let a little rain dampen the mood.
“It’s a lovely day,” the British actor, dressed all in white (save for his rainbow sash,) yelled to the cheering crowd.
Veteran marchers said this year’s parade felt more powerful than any other pride parade in history.
“This may be the greatest day for a parade in New York City ever,” New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer told msnbc. “My two little boys are never going to have to worry about who they love, what they love, what they believe in. We have changed things not just for our generation, but for the children who come after us. It’s an amazing day for this country.”