Rainbow Flags, Victims' Images at Pride Parades
Marchers recognize pain of Orlando amid merriment
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 26, 2016 7:00 PM CDT
Tina Hitscherich surprises a police officer with a kiss during the NYC Pride Parade in New York, Sunday, June 26, 2016.    (Seth Wenig)
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(Newser) – Rainbow flags were held high along with portraits of the dead as thousands of people marched Sunday in gay pride parades tempered by this month's massacre at a Florida gay nightclub, the AP reports. Crowds of onlookers stood a dozen deep along Fifth Avenue for New York City's parade. Some spectators held up orange "We are Orlando" signs, and indications of increased security were everywhere, with armed officers standing by. An announcer introducing state officials and guests also shouted out, "Love is love! New York is Orlando!" in memory of the 49 people killed in Florida. Elected officials turned out in force, as did presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

She walked several blocks of the march, joining New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, and the Rev. Al Sharpton for a brief appearance at Stonewall Inn, the bar where a 1969 police raid helped catalyze the gay rights movement. On Sunday, with her Twitter handle appearing in rainbow colors, Clinton wrote: "One year ago, love triumphed in our highest court. Yet LGBT Americans still face too many barriers. Let's keep marching until they don't." Marchers in Chicago and San Francisco expressed similar sentiments about prejudice and brutality, but still managed to make merry. "We had fun. That is what gay people do," comedian Guy Branum wrote in a New York Times essay earlier this month after attending the West Hollywood parade. "Our answer to loss and indignity, it seems, is to give a party, have a parade and celebrate bits of happiness."