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Planned Parenthood leads NYC Pride March as many call for activism amid celebrations

Thousands attend NYC Pride March amid concerns about equal rights
Thousands attend NYC Pride March amid concerns about equal rights 02:43

NEW YORK -- Thousands lined the Pride March route through Manhattan on Sunday, but the floats, confetti and rainbow flags were joined by new fears that their fight for freedom is not over.

The theme for Pride NYC this year was "Unapologetically Us."

"It's just love all around," one spectator said.

As CBS2's Alice Gainer reports, the march was back this year and the energy was contagious as massive crowds made up for time lost to the pandemic.

People of all ages marched, danced, ran and cheered.

"It's important to be here because, because what happened back then, people weren't allowed to be gay, and my papa is gay," 8-year-old John said.

  • To find a list of Pride-related street closures in New York City this weekend, click here.

In 1970, the first march was held and has continued every year since as an annual civil rights demonstration.

"We are here to honor our legacy of our queer and trans ancestors. Pride is still a fight," said Schuyler Bailar, the grand marshal of the march.

"I think it's very important for us to remember that this is a protest as well as a celebration," Brooklyn resident Lauren Vega said.

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, Planned Parenthood was added as the first group to lead the march. People wore t-shirts, stickers and carried signs in support of abortion rights.

Many now wonder if same-sex marriage is next.

"Justice Thomas urged the court to go even further and overturn rights to birth control, privacy and marriage equality," said Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood.

"If I haven't been more fearful for anything in my life, the time is now," one speaker said.

"We will not go back, and we will join forces," New York Attorney General Letitia James said.

There was full acceptance at the march, but the fight continues, they say, for equal rights everywhere.

"First Pride was a riot, so they didn't just fight for all of that for us to be treated like this all over again," Brooklyn resident Ivy Espinosa said.

That wasn't the only Pride March happening in Manhattan on Sunday.

Hundreds of people took part in the Queer Liberation March from Foley Square to Washington Square Park. The event was created in 2019 by the Reclaim Pride Coalition.

Hundreds gather for PrideFest Street Fair in Greenwich Village 00:19

In Greenwich Village, PrideFest held its annual LGBTQIA+ Street Fair along Fourth Avenue between East Eighth and East 13th streets.

Hundreds of people turned up for a day of fun and celebration in the name of equality, enjoying activities, entertainers, music and food.

PrideFest is going into its 28th year.

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