The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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LGBTQ+ Pride Events Place Abortion Rights Front and Center Nationally

A group of people at New York City Pride Parade in Planned Parenthood shirts next to an image of a man holding a sign that reads 'abort the court'

After the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade on Friday, Pride events across the country over the weekend became not only celebrations but protests.

Two days before Sunday's 52nd annual New York City march, Justice Clarence Thomas said in his concurrence the Supreme Court should reconsider its 2015 decision recognizing marriage equality.

As part of the 2022 NYC Pride March, Planned Parenthood kicked off the event with the honored first spot at the front of the parade.

“Pride was born of protest and will always be a space to fight injustice and discrimination,” the organization said in the announcement extending the invitation to Planned Parenthood on Friday.

New York City Pride marches celebrate the protests that followed the raid of the Stonewall Inn by police on June 28, 1969.

“Yesterday's Supreme Court decision overturning nearly five decades of protections and reproductive freedom is devastating,” NYC Pride said on its website. “This dangerous decision puts millions in harm's way, gives government control over our individual freedom to choose, and sets a disturbing precedent that puts many other constitutional rights and freedoms in jeopardy.”

Saturday Night Live cast member Punkie Johnson, American Civil Liberties Union attorney Chase Strangio, social media star Ts Madison, and former NCAA swimmer Schuyler Bailar were this year's NYC Pride Parade grand marshals.

The Pride parade in San Francisco drew crowds despite fears that far-right groups would be encouraged to conduct attacks.

“Pride started with a protest,” San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I think this whole weekend is going to be one long protest. It's horrible. It feels like our democracy has been hijacked.”

Mandelman's district includes the Castro, the neighborhood in San Francisco synonymous with LGBTQ+ life.

A crowd of tens of thousands lined the streets of Baltimore on Saturday as the city's Pride parade returned following pandemic delays. The mood was one of celebration and protest following the Roe decision.

“Right now, we need this more than ever,” Ari Hamilton-Gery, marketing chair for Baltimore Pride, told The Baltimore Sun about the weekend's Pride events. “Our entire community is going into this day as this is why we're doing this.”

Murat Bilgel and attorney Mike Harmon attended the Baltimore Pride parade and brought signage.

Bilgel carried a sign that read “Abort the Court.”

Harmon told the paper he was frustrated with the high court's conservative members.

“Essentially, time and time again, these right-wing conservative justices have testified under oath that they respected Roe as precedent,” he said. “And really, I think that's grounds for impeachment,” he said. “They lied under oath.”

In New York, Jenny Romaine attended Saturday's Dyke March and spoke to The Washington Post.

"Pride is always political," said Romaine, 59. 

She was carrying a sign reading "Dyke Zombie 4 Abortion Access. Be Gay — Eat the Law!" the Post reports

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