By Sarah Yañez-Richards
New York, Jun 25 (EFE).- New York Gov. Kathy Hochul set the tone for Sunday’s LGBTQ+ Pride march in the Big Apple by signing into a law a measuring proclaiming the state as a safe haven for trans youth.
“We’ve had to stand up against injustices of every form, and we’ve won those battles,” the Democrat said in remarks at the start of the parade down 5th Avenue in Manhattan.
“But for me here today as the governor of the State of New York, that’s not enough because there are people outside our borders, in other states, in the United States of America who do not have the same rights that we do here in New York and that is wrong,” Hochul said.
“And this year, as if these other state governments have nothing else to do, they’ve introduced over 500 anti-LGBTQ pieces of legislation,” she said. So today, I stand together with champions of this movement who have joined us today to say, ‘No more.'”
“And No. 1, we’re going to make New York a safe haven for trans youth from all across this country,” the governor said.
The grand marshal of NYC Pride, award-winning actor and singer Billy Porter, thanked Hochul for signing the bill and denounced the Republican governors of Florida, Ron DeSantis; and Texas, Greg Abbott, for seeking “to deny gender-affirming care to our transgender youth.”
“They want to criminalize parents and doctors,” Porter said. “New York is not going backwards, we’re moving forwards.”
“There has been progress and we have a long way to go, but change has already happened. The change has already happened, that’s why the pushback is so severe, so, let’s try to remember that as we move forward so that we can fortify ourselves with grace, compassion, and kindness,” he said.
The theme of New York City’s 53rd Pride parade was “Strength in Solidarity,” a reminder that Pride began as a protest against intolerance.
The inaugural Pride March in New York was on June 28, 1970, the first anniversary of a riot spurred by a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar.
Authorities expected as many as 1 million people to take part in Sunday’s festivities, with 100,000 set to march in the main procession.
Besides Hochul, the contingent of office-holders who turned out included New York City Mayor Eric Adams and both of the state’s US senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.