Yesterday’s Pride Parade was marked by extremely beautiful weather and a much more relaxed tone than last year’s march, which was frantic right after Marriage Equality Act had just passed.
Although we wrote in this week’s Voice feature that debate has grown limited in gay organizations, the march had a full spectrum of points expressed. In the alley where the Voice’s contingent lined up, there was an Israeli group and a Palestinian supportive group queued up near each other. Yes, there were the onslaught of banks and finance companies marching which we wrote about last week, but there were groups as divergent as the anti-circumcision flank (“Dude, Where’s My Foreskin?”), churches, anti-animal cruelty marchers, anti-fracking folk (“Drill Ass, Not Gas”), Occupy Wall Street, elected officials, and a surprisingly welcomed contingent of NYPD white shirts (perhaps welcomed because they held musical instruments and not battons and riot helmets).
As we waited to march with the Voice (lauded by the parade’s announcer for this paper’s coverage of LGBT issues going back decades, to Stonewall really), we got to watch a fair amount of the parade pass by and interviewed some of the politicians. Here are a few snapshots.
NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly marched with a color guard whose flag included the rainbow one, of course.
Robert Pinter of the Campaign to Stop the False Arrests (who was the victim of a sting operation a few years ago, which he is now appealing to the Supreme Court of the United States) marched with the Anti-Violence Project.
Edith Windsor, an 83-year-old widow who recently won a federal court case that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, marched with the NYCLU.
Marriage Equality New YorkMarriage Equality U.S. had a large contingent. They had a very fresh victory last year, and the group has since re-tooled itself as Marriage Equality US in order to fight for federal marriage. It’s also to help efforts with marriage in other states, like Maryland and Washington (which both have Prop 8 style voter referendums this year). Holding up their banner was a pride of tots so short they could barely see over it.
Here’s a picture of former Comptroller (and expected mayoral candidate) Bill Thompson, soon-to-be former State Senator Tom Duane, and our radio buddy from WWRL, Yetta Kurland. We spoke at length with Duane, who loquaciously talked to us about experiencing his last pride as a State Senator. We were in the Senate chamber with him last June and got to talk to him, with tears in his eyes, right after the Marriage Equality Act passed. He was quite emotional as he watched the parade go by and recalled group after group he’d worked with over the years.
Dr. Marjorie Hill has been stalking us lately (or maybe we’ve been stalking her), as we’ve run into each other at the White House, the Stop-and-Frisk march, the Pride March, and on the Michelangelo Signorile Show last week.
After the march, we headed to WBAI’s studio to appear on Out-FM’s marathon Pride special.
Then we headed off to the Dekalb Market, to attend the “Everybooty” Brooklyn pride party. When we arrived, FUREE’s Maisha Morales and Lucas Shapiro were speaking to the crowd about how the market will soon be no more because of development.
Right after, Justin Vivian Bond took the stage, dismayed that the “Free Blowjobs” sign had disappeared from his hat.
All in all, it was a very good pride.