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Gay Pride Parade Unlike Any Other in NYC: We Can Marry Now!

My partner John Lee and I were there at the Sheraton Hotel when Andy Cuomo was elected last fall. He promised us he would bring gay marriage to the Empire State. I cheered, but did not hold my breath. In less than six months, he kept his promise. I may now marry the man I love. As can any resident or non-resident of New York State from anywhere in the world. I am stunned and overwhelmed, Andrew. Thank you.

The Heritage of Pride Committee has run the parade brilliantly for almost 50 years

New York, N.Y. A sea change in New York. Although I have attended the NYC Pride Parade since 1983 –“ many as a marshal – this one was different. As the lesbian on motorcycles thundered into view down Fifth Avenue I did something I had not done in 28 years. I burst into tears. After 28 years in New York City, I finally have the right to marry the man I love. Thank you, Andrew Cuomo.

History of NYC’s Pride March

The first New York City Pride March, also known as the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, took place on June 28, 1970, one year after the Stonewall Riots. The march began at Washington Place in Greenwich Village and moved north up Sixth Avenue, attracting thousands of participants. The march was intended to end in Central Park, but organizers didn’t have a police permit. 

Governor Andy Cuomo promised us he would usher in gay marriage. Promise kept.
With him was Mayor Mike Bloomberg, NYC’s Chris Quinn, and NYS’s Tom Duane.
New Yorkers United for Marriage – the grand coalition of activist organizations –
performed an unexpected miracle in Albany last week with the help of Republicans.

The Stonewall Riots began on June 28, 1969, when police raided the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village bar that was a hub of the city’s underground gay community. Community members fought back against the raids, which sparked the modern LGBTQ rights movement and the organization of the first Pride March

The Heritage of Pride (HOP) organization has produced and organized the parade and related events since 1984. HOP is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that welcomes participation from all ages, genders, races, religions, and more. 

The NYC Pride March takes place on the last Sunday in June each year and celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community. Over the years, the march has reflected the community’s evolving priorities, highlighting issues such as anti-gay legislation, AIDS support, and marriage equality

Rep. Maloney Supports Gay Rights

Carolyn Maloney, U.S. Representative from New York representing the Upper East Side and our Roosevelt Island, has firmly established herself as a champion for LGBTQ+ rights, showcasing an unwavering commitment to equality and inclusivity throughout her political career.

With a resolute dedication to the cause, Maloney has consistently advocated for LGBTQ+ equality on both local and national fronts. Her unwavering support has been evident through her co-sponsorship of crucial bills aimed at bolstering anti-discrimination protections, advocating for marriage equality, and safeguarding the rights of LGBTQ+ youth. By lending her voice and influence to these initiatives, Maloney has helped pave the way for tangible progress and social change.

Beyond legislative efforts, Maloney has emerged as a vocal advocate and ally for the LGBTQ+ community, using her platform to amplify their voices and champion their rights. Her outspoken stance on various issues pertaining to gay rights has resonated deeply, earning her widespread respect and admiration within the LGBTQ+ community and beyond.

One of my favorite groups, – Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps, marched with pride.
Perennial good guy and senior U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer celebrated with us.

One of Maloney’s landmark achievements in advancing LGBTQ+ rights came with the introduction of the first measure in New York to recognize domestic partnerships, inclusive of those formed by same-sex couples. This groundbreaking initiative not only symbolized a significant step forward in the fight for equality but also underscored Maloney’s unwavering dedication to fostering a more inclusive society for all.

In essence, Carolyn Maloney’s steadfast commitment to gay rights epitomizes the essence of principled leadership, as she continues to advocate tirelessly for equality, dignity, and justice for the LGBTQ+ community. Through her actions and advocacy, Maloney has left an indelible mark on the landscape of LGBTQ+ rights, reaffirming her status as a beacon of hope and progress for generations to come.

New York City’s finest—our police force—honored us, as did our fire department.

As I watched the parade I remembered my impression from my very first parade three decades ago –“ no city in the world is as diverse as New York, and no community in the world is as accepting as our LGBT community. In this one parade you have the Irish, Puerto Ricans, Israelis, Macy’s balloons, our police drummers –“ and fire trucks. All of the multi-nation corporations headquartered here that embrace diversity. Our universities, churches and synagogues. Our progressive political leaders from both sides of the aisle. I am so proud to be both gay and a New Yorker.

Borough President Scott Stringer was there –“ Manhattan now gay capital of the world.

My partner John Lee and I were there at the Sheraton Hotel when Andy Cuomo was elected last fall. He promised us he would bring gay marriage to the Empire State. I cheered, but did not hold my breath. In less than six months, he kept his promise. I may now marry the man whom I love. As can any resident or non-resident of New York State from anywhere in the world. I am stunned and overwhelmed, Andrew. Thank you.

All photos by Jim Luce.


Jim Luce
Jim Lucehttps://stewardshipreport.org/
Raising, Supporting & Educating Young Global Leaders through Orphans International Worldwide (www.orphansinternational.org), the J. Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org), and The Stewardship Report (www.stewardshipreport.org). Jim is also founder and president of the New York Global Leaders Lions Club.

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