US & World

Supreme Court ruling makes Pride parades historic, jubilant

Participants wait for the start of the 2015 New York City Pride march in New York on June 28, 2015. Under a sea of rainbow flags, hundreds of thousands of jubilant supporters poured onto New York's streets for the annual Gay Pride March, two days after the US Supreme Court's landmark ruling to legalize gay marriage.
Participants wait for the start of the 2015 New York City Pride march in New York on June 28, 2015. Under a sea of rainbow flags, hundreds of thousands of jubilant supporters poured onto New York's streets for the annual Gay Pride March, two days after the US Supreme Court's landmark ruling to legalize gay marriage.
Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
Participants wait for the start of the 2015 New York City Pride march in New York on June 28, 2015. Under a sea of rainbow flags, hundreds of thousands of jubilant supporters poured onto New York's streets for the annual Gay Pride March, two days after the US Supreme Court's landmark ruling to legalize gay marriage.
2015 NYC Pride March Grand Marshal Sir Ian McKellen marches in the 2015 New York City Pride march on June 28, 2015 in New York City.
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Participants wait for the start of the 2015 New York City Pride march in New York on June 28, 2015. Under a sea of rainbow flags, hundreds of thousands of jubilant supporters poured onto New York's streets for the annual Gay Pride March, two days after the US Supreme Court's landmark ruling to legalize gay marriage.
A woman wearing rainbow-colored socks walks across a rainbow-colored crosswalk during a gay pride celebration in San Francisco's famous Castro neighborhood on June 27, 2015 in San Francisco, California. The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry nationwide without regard to their state's laws.
Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images
Participants wait for the start of the 2015 New York City Pride march in New York on June 28, 2015. Under a sea of rainbow flags, hundreds of thousands of jubilant supporters poured onto New York's streets for the annual Gay Pride March, two days after the US Supreme Court's landmark ruling to legalize gay marriage.
People take part in the annual Pride in London Parade on June 27, 2015 in London, England. Pride in London is one of the world's biggest LGBT+ celebrations as thousands of people take part in a parade and attend performances at various locations across the city.
Rob Stothard/Getty Images
Participants wait for the start of the 2015 New York City Pride march in New York on June 28, 2015. Under a sea of rainbow flags, hundreds of thousands of jubilant supporters poured onto New York's streets for the annual Gay Pride March, two days after the US Supreme Court's landmark ruling to legalize gay marriage.
Participants dance and wave banners during a gay pride parade as part of the 'Korea Queer Festival' in Seoul on June 28, 2015. Thousands of participants of South Korea's annual gay pride parade marched across central Seoul, with many celebrating the US Supreme Court's historic decision allowing same-sex couples to wed. Gay and transgender Koreans live largely under the radar in a country that remains deeply conservative about matters of sexual identity and where many still regard homosexuality as a foreign phenomenon. Thousands of Christian activists stood behind police barriers to wave banners and chant slogans at those taking part, condemning what they called an attempt to turn the South Korean capital into "Sodom and Gomorrah."
Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
Participants wait for the start of the 2015 New York City Pride march in New York on June 28, 2015. Under a sea of rainbow flags, hundreds of thousands of jubilant supporters poured onto New York's streets for the annual Gay Pride March, two days after the US Supreme Court's landmark ruling to legalize gay marriage.
An attendee poses for a photo prior to a gay pride march held as part of the 'Korea Queer Festival' in Seoul on June 28, 2015. Thousands of participants of South Korea's annual gay pride parade marched across central Seoul, with many celebrating the US Supreme Court's historic decision allowing same-sex couples to wed. Gay and transgender Koreans live largely under the radar in a country that remains deeply conservative about matters of sexual identity and where many still regard homosexuality as a foreign phenomenon. Thousands of Christian activists stood behind police barriers to wave banners and chant slogans at those taking part, condemning what they called an attempt to turn the South Korean capital into "Sodom and Gomorrah.
Ee Jones/AFP/Getty Images
Participants wait for the start of the 2015 New York City Pride march in New York on June 28, 2015. Under a sea of rainbow flags, hundreds of thousands of jubilant supporters poured onto New York's streets for the annual Gay Pride March, two days after the US Supreme Court's landmark ruling to legalize gay marriage.
A performer gestures from a float during a gay pride parade as part of the 'Korea Queer Festival' in Seoul on June 28, 2015. Thousands of participants of South Korea's annual gay pride parade marched across central Seoul, with many celebrating the US Supreme Court's historic decision allowing same-sex couples to wed. Gay and transgender Koreans live largely under the radar in a country that remains deeply conservative about matters of sexual identity and where many still regard homosexuality as a foreign phenomenon. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
Participants wait for the start of the 2015 New York City Pride march in New York on June 28, 2015. Under a sea of rainbow flags, hundreds of thousands of jubilant supporters poured onto New York's streets for the annual Gay Pride March, two days after the US Supreme Court's landmark ruling to legalize gay marriage.
A transgender person looks on with an rainbow umbrella during a Gay Pride parade on June 28, 2015 in the Istiklal street near Taksim square in Istanbul. Riot police in Istanbul used teargas and water cannon to disperse thousands of participants in the Gay Pride parade in the Turkish city, an AFP reporter said. Police took action against the crowd when demonstrators began shouting slogans accusing the social conservative President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of "fascism".
Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images
Participants wait for the start of the 2015 New York City Pride march in New York on June 28, 2015. Under a sea of rainbow flags, hundreds of thousands of jubilant supporters poured onto New York's streets for the annual Gay Pride March, two days after the US Supreme Court's landmark ruling to legalize gay marriage.
Francisco Pavon, L, and his friend Brandon McCarthy celebrate in front of San Francisco's iconic Castro Theater during gay pride weekend on June 27, 2015 in San Francisco, California. The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry nationwide without regard to their state's laws.
Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images
Participants wait for the start of the 2015 New York City Pride march in New York on June 28, 2015. Under a sea of rainbow flags, hundreds of thousands of jubilant supporters poured onto New York's streets for the annual Gay Pride March, two days after the US Supreme Court's landmark ruling to legalize gay marriage.
Revelers take part in the Gay Pride Parade in San Salvador, El Salvador, on June 27, 2015.
Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images


Rainbows and good cheer were out in force Sunday as hundreds of thousands of people packed gay pride events from Chicago to New York City, where the governor officiated at a wedding, just days after the Supreme Court's landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made use of some newly granted powers by officiating at the wedding ceremony of a same-sex couple in Manhattan in front of the Stonewall Inn, where years ago gay bar patrons stood up to a police raid.

State law did not allow Cuomo to officiate at wedding ceremonies until last week. The authority to do so was granted as part of a slew of legislation passed days ago.

This year, parades are taking on a more celebratory tone.

Nikita Lowery, 28, of Chicago says she decided to attend that city's parade for the first time this year. "I feel like it's a true celebration now," she said.

Organizers of San Francisco's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Parade, just called "Pride," expect about 1 million revelers. It will have 240 groups marching in the parade and more than 30 floats, its largest in 45 years. 

You can watch a live stream of San Francisco's pride online.

"Every trailer in Nevada and California has been rented and brought in, including one from a farm in Northern California," said Gary Virginia, board president of San Francisco Pride. "I just think it's going to be magical this year."

That's because the U.S. Supreme Court issued on Friday a long-awaited ruling, giving same-sex couples the right to marry in all 50 states. Virginia's comments were echoed by leaders of Pride celebrations in other cities.

"It's going to be an epic weekend," said David Studinski, march director for New York City Pride. "I actually just wrote on Twitter that this is the most historic Pride march since the first."

New York City expects 22,000 people marching in a 2-mile route and more than 2 million people to visit throughout the day. The event is considered a march, Studinski said, because the movement still has much to accomplish.

At gay pride parades in Dublin, Paris and other cities Saturday, the U.S. ruling was hailed by many as a watershed.

"Soon in all countries we will be able to marry," said Celine Schlewitz, a 25-year-old nurse taking part in the Paris parade. "Finally a freedom for everyone."

In the Philippines, in India, in Australia and elsewhere, gay rights advocates think the decision may help change attitudes. It's is expected to have a ripple effect elsewhere.

Street celebrations were boosted Saturday in Dublin, where Ireland mounted the biggest gay rights parade in the country's history.

More than 60,000 people paraded at the culmination of a weeklong gay rights festival in the Irish capital. While the mood was already high following Ireland's referendum last month to legalize gay marriage — becoming the first nation to do so by popular vote — many marchers said the Supreme Court ruling provided a bonus reason to celebrate.

In Turkey, police used water cannons to clear a rally Sunday in Istanbul. Between 100 and 200 marchers were chased away from Taksim Square after a police vehicle fired several jets of water to disperse the crowd. It wasn't clear why the police intervened in the peaceful rally. The crowd regrouped a few blocks away.

Tweet: Video of Pride in Turkey

Cuomo said New York played a role in getting same-sex marriage to the point where it was, by legalizing it in the state in 2011.

Pride festivities started to honor the 1969 Stonewall rebellion. In San Francisco, marchers took to Polk Street in 1970, and in 1972, the event became a parade, with an estimated 2,000 marchers and 15,000 spectators, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

This year's parade in San Francisco is using the theme "Equality Without Exception." The celebrity grand marshal is Rick Welts, president of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors. Speakers include Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, and Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the landmark same-sex marriage suit decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Twin Cities, St. Petersburg and St. Louis also have planned events.

Seattle expects to draw nearly 500,000 parade watchers, said Eric Bennett, president of SeattlePride.

"This is definitely going to be a momentous Pride weekend all over the country," he said. "It's just going to raise the celebration level of everybody who supports marriage equality."

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Associated Press writers Gregory Katz in London, Raphael Satter in Istanbul, Verena Dobnik in New York City and Sara Burnett in Chicago contributed to this report.

This story has been updated.