|Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (second from right), two days after he signed the gay marriage equality bill into law, together with Mayor Michael Bloomberg (waving a rainbow flag) and other officials.|
|RuPaul's Drag Race runner-up, "Manila Luzon"|
Judge: "Manila, your hair is a little too big!"
Manila Luzon: "How dare you!"
|BaranGAY New York|
|Gay and lesbian police officers|
|"Stay close, because relationships are too precious to lose."|
Proud and Powerful is this year's theme of the Heritage of Pride March that took place yesterday. The parade rolled down Fifth Avenue from 36th Street down to Greenwich Village. Thousands of marchers and spectators carried signs that read "Thank you Governor Cuomo," "Equality For All Families," "Promise Kept!" and "It Does Get Better NY," that embody the parade theme. The parade took a special meaning for New York's LGBT community because two days before the parade, the landmark gay marriage equality bill was passed, making New York the 6th and most populous state to legalize same-sex marriage, joining Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire andIowa - plus the District of Columbia.
The March began in 1970 as an annual civil rights demonstration beginning the year after the Stonewall Riots. The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village. Over the years its purpose has broadened to include recognition of the fight against AIDS and to remember those we have lost to the illness, violence and neglect. It has also evolved to include being a celebration of our lives and our community.