Watch 'NYC Pride 2020: 50th Anniversary of the NYC Pride March' this Sunday, June 28, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Channel 7
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Since 1970, NYC Pride March has been one of the biggest events of the year attracting millions from all over the world to walk down the streets of Lower Manhattan in colorful outfits, handmade signs, and rainbow flags.
Though it is hard to believe there was a time when the Pride march did not exist, the ground-breaking yearly-event would not have been possible today without the Stonewall Riots in 1969. The riots occurred as retaliation following a police raid in a gay bar called Stonewall Inn, which led to many of the LGBTQ community finally saying enough to their mistreatment by the police and standing up for themselves.
"This week marks the 31st anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, which launched the gay rights movement...," Eyewitness News Anchor Sandra Bookman said in the newscast from June 26, 2000. "This year's parade and the city celebrated many political victories like the new hate crime law in New York City and the civil union law in Vermont."
In 2000, participants in the NYC Pride March cheered as they celebrated the passing of the "The Hate Crimes Act of 2000." The law protests individuals from offenses committed against them because of their belief, gender, sexual orientation, religion, color, race, etc.
However, this law was still not enough.
The LGBTQ community wanted equal rights that included same-sex marriage.
"I think everyone must have the right to be different," said one of the demonstrators at the march.
Many agreed with the demonstrator, but it wasn't until years later that same-sex marriage was passed in 2016.
To this day, the LGBTQ community faces many injustices and still are fighting the good fight for equal rights. While more still needs to be done, it is impossible to ignore the progress the LGBTQ community has made since 1969 as the Pride March reaches its 50th anniversary this year.