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Pride Parade draws thousands to downtown San Francisco

Pride Month culminates with Market Street parade in San Francisco
Pride Month culminates with Market Street parade in San Francisco 03:19

SAN FRANCISCO -- Thousands of people gathered on Sunday in downtown San Francisco to celebrate the annual Pride Parade supporting the LGBTQ community.

Crowds lined up along Market Street to witness the array of colorful floats. Some attendees climbed trees and lampposts to catch a clearer view of the parade above the sea of people.

Many attendees wore their flashiest attire and showed off their upbeat personalities. In each direction was a vibrant symphony of color as people danced and waved their LGBTQ flags.

The annual event is one of the largest pride parades in the world. The outspoken support for the LGBTQ community and the city's history of advocating for LGBTQ rights make San Francisco a prime destination to participate in the celebration.

"We didn't know this was happening but we're glad we can see this parade on our last day in San Francisco," said Lukas Schiffel, a tourist from Germany visiting with his wife. "This very much represents San Francisco."

Melanie Wood, who marched on Sunday with Human Rights Campaign, the world's largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, said it's especially important to show up for pride amid rising anti-LGBTQ legislation throughout the United States.

"I walk because I know this fight is not over and our trans family is under attack across the country. Last year, a record number of anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced across the U.S.," Wood said.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, 510 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced in the U.S. in 2023. So far in 2024, there have been 524 bills introduced in state legislatures that the ACLU says are anti-LGBTQ. Most of the bills this year have been defeated while 41 have passed into law.

While the rest of the country is seeing a rise in anti-LGBTQ legislation, San Francisco is seen as a safe space for people in the community.

"I moved to San Francisco from Florida almost five years ago after I came out to surround myself with like-minded people. It's been so healing living out here and I know San Francisco is a safe haven for queer people," Wood said.

The parade is the grand finale of a month full of pro-LGBTQ celebrations in the city.

"I walk for my peers who are not so safe all across the globe," Wood said.

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