NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With Pride Month in full swing, two gay and lesbian pride parades were to be held in the Tri-State Area on Saturday.
Early on Saturday afternoon, crowds gathered in Huntington for the Long Island Gay Pride Parade and PrideFest. The year’s theme is Super Pride, celebrating the superheroes in the Long Island LGBT community who are working toward equality.
The parade kicked off at noon Saturday on Main Street in Huntington. The grand marshals included Huntington Town supervisor Frank Petrone; Ralph Colamussi, owner of Thatched College restaurant in Centerport; and Donaldsons Subaru of Sayville.
Meanwhile, the all-day PrideFest rocked Heckscher Park in Huntington beginning at 1 p.m. Entertainment headliners for the event included Debbie Gibson, Robin S., and Janice Robinson of Livin’ Joy.
Before the parade stepped off Saturday, U.S. Rep. Steve Israel was in Huntington to announce legislation that would repeal dishonorable discharges that some servicemembers received because they were gay. Israel said the legislation would make sure the veterans get the recognition and benefits they deserve, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.
Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Pride Parade was scheduled as an evening event, stepping off at 7:30 p.m. around Sterling Place and ending at 9th Street and Fifth Avenue in Park Slope.
The parade was preceded Saturday by a Pride 5K run and a multicultural festival with stage entertainment and spoken word performances.
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is the grand marshal for the event, and said in published reports that he does not expect any trouble following a spate of violence against gay men on New York City streets.
While most of the attacks happened in Manhattan, one assault late last month occurred in Prospect Park. Kevin Kiadii, 25, was walking with a male friend when he encountered a group of at least four teens who hurled anti-gay slurs and attacked them, leaving Kiadii with cuts and bruises to his head.
In the most severe case on May 18, Mark Carson, 32, was shot and killed by a man who first called him and his partner “f***ots” and asked if they were “gay wrestlers.”
Elliot Morales, 33, was caught a short time after and charged with Carson’s murder.
Last Sunday at the 21st annual Queens Pride Parade, City Council Christine Quinn – who is openly lesbian – announced a series of free self-defense classes starting next weekend being provided by the city. The lessons will focus on street smarts more than actual fighting, Quinn said last weekend.
The events in Manhattan begin on Friday, June 28, with “The Rally” at Pier 26 in Hudson River Park, which will showcase well-known performers and motivational speakers. The first Pride Rally happened shortly after the Stonewall Riots in 1969, when 500 people held a Gay Power demonstration in Washington Square Park and a candlelight vigil at Sheridan Square in the West Village.
On Saturday, June 29, NYC Pride will hold a rooftop party with an assortment of world-class DJs at Hudson Terrace, at 621 W. 46th St. in Hell’s Kitchen. Also on June 29, NYC Pride will hold “Rapture on the River,” the official women’s event of Pride weekend, at Pier 26.
The Pride March will step off on Sunday, June 30, at noon. Edith Windsor – who took her fight against the Defense of Marriage Act to the U.S. Supreme Court after being hit with $360,000 in real estate taxes after the death of her partner – will be among the grand marshals. Also serving as grand marshals are musician and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, and Earl Fowlkes, president and chief executive officer of the Center for Black Equity.
The parade runs from Midtown along Fifth Avenue to the West Village at Christopher Street.
Also on march day, the 20th annual Pride Fest street fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Hudson Street between Abingdon Square and 14th Street. Meanwhile, a Pride Poolside party will be held at Hotel Americano, 521 W. 27th St., and in the evening, a Dance on the Pier will close out the events back at Pier 26.
Pride Month, and the gay pride parades and marches held in June across the country, all commemorate the Stonewall riots on June 28, 1969. A group of patrons at the Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher St., demonstrated against raids on the bar by the police in what led to a two-day riot for gay rights and a new and intense discussion about civil rights for the LGBT community.
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