New York City's 46th annual Gay Pride March
In 1970, the first Gay Pride March took place in New York City. The event took place one year after police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood, and community members fought back. This year’s march is expected to be the biggest in its 46-year history, taking place two days after President Barack Obama designated the Stonewall as a national monument. “Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights,” President Obama said in a YouTube video released by the White House Thursday. “I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country – the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us, that we are stronger together, that out of many, we are one.”
The 2016 event also marks the first anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that made same-sex marriage legal across the United States.
This year’s march comes after an attack at Orlando gay nightclub Pulse that killed 49 people and injured 53 others. The owner of Pulse, Barbara Poma, and the club’s manager, Neema Bahrami, will ride on the lead float in New York, and the names of those lost in the June 12 shooting will be read aloud.
Police officials expect this year’s crowd to be significantly larger than 2015, when 1.6 million people attended the march. Grand marshals for 2016 are Jazz Jennings, the youngest grand marshal in New York’s history and a prominent voice for the transgender community; Subhi Nahas, a Syrian advocate and refugee who published the first LGBT magazine in Syria; and Cecilia Chung, an internationally recognized advocate who helped organize one of the world’s first annual transgender events.