Manhattan church celebrates Pride Month with eye-catching lights display

MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- A cathedral in Manhattan is celebrating Pride Month big time -- with a huge, eye-catching lights display.

At a cathedral where there are depictions of saints and civil rights leaders, it may be no surprise that during the month of Pride, the columns are lit up.

"It's the bringing together of the ancient and the modern," Malloy said.

Construction of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine began in 1892, when LGBTQ were just letters.

But at its foundation, this Episcopal cathedral in Morningside Heights has always been for everyone, according to Reverend Patrick Malloy.

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San Pedro High School has installed the nation's first LGBTQ+ classroom library to help promote inclusion and diversity.

"This cathedral has a history of being supportive of LGBTQ, and that's nothing new -- how we do that from time to time changes," Malloy said.

The lights were first turned on in June of 2019, for a week. And they're back this year for the entire month of June.

A decision that was both popular and important.

"For many people, so unexpected that the church would be this affirming of LGBTQ people," Malloy said.

Mass is often said in front of triptych of Christ -- Keith Haring's last major work before he died from AIDS. It's a piece that sits proudly in a cathedral where lights now also illuminate an inclusive path.

"This huge huge place has room for everybody including LGBTQ people," Malloy said.

In-person services are on hold for a few more weeks because of the pandemic, but the cathedral is open every day to the public for prayer and reflection and to take in the Pride lights while they shine.

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