NEW YORK — Pride celebrations hosted by LGBTQ communities across the United States this weekend took on a tone of outrage following the US Supreme Court's decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion and a wave of anti-transgender legislation.
The weekend's Pride events, which included Sunday parades in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Denver, came on the heels of fervent protests in some of the same cities since Friday, when abortion rights supporters took to the streets to decry the Supreme Court's decision to reverse the 1973 Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide.
LGBTQ leaders fear the ruling endangers personal freedom beyond abortion rights. In a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the Court might reconsider other precedents, mentioning specifically the rulings protecting the rights to contraception, same-sex intimacy and gay marriage.
"The anti-abortion playbook and the anti-LGBTQ playbook are one and the same. Both are about denying control over our bodies and making it more dangerous for us to live as we are," Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD, said in a statement.
Even before the Supreme Court's ruling against abortion rights, the LGBTQ community's Pride month jubilation was weighed down by a raft of Republican-backed state laws that specifically target transgender youth.
The measures enacted in several red states bar classroom discussion of gender identity, block access to healthcare to help young people transition, and restrict participation in sports.
"This march is going to have more of a serious tone than celebratory, and I don't think that's a bad thing at all," Krystal Marx, executive director of Seattle Pride, said ahead of that city's parade, which was expecting half a million attendees on Sunday.
At New York City's Pride parade, women's health provider Planned Parenthood was the first group to kick off the march. Throngs of people dressed in rainbow colors cheered as Planned Parenthood representatives, holding pink signs that read "Together. We fight for all" started the parade in Manhattan around noon on Sunday.
"Everybody please scream for Planned Parenthood!" an announcer called over a loudspeaker. The crowd then began a chant of, "We won't back down!" — Reuters