At US Pride parades, revelry turns to resistance after Roe reversal

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Pride celebrations hosted by LGBTQ communities across the United States this weekend took on a tone of outrage following the 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, coming right on the heels of fervent protests in some of the same cities since Friday.

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,” says LGBTQ advocacy organization, GLAAD’s CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis 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,” says Executive Director of Seattle Pride Krystal Marx ahead of that city’s parade, which was expecting half a million attendees on Sunday.

Abortion rights and transgender rights were top of mind at San Francisco’s Pride parade, where people held signs that read “Abort the Court,” “Protect trans youth,” and organizers led a chant of “Get your laws off our bodies.”

A high school student, Maya Reddick, who was attending San Francisco celebrations with friends held a sign that said reproductive rights were human rights.

“It feels like there’s a cloud over everybody who has a uterus,” says Reddick.

At New York City’s Pride parade, women’s health provider Planned Parenthood was the first group to kick off the march. The parade started in Manhattan on Sunday. Throngs of people dressed in rainbow colours cheered as Planned Parenthood representatives, holding pink signs that read “Together We fight for all.”

“Everybody please scream for Planned Parenthood!” an announcer called over a loudspeaker. The crowd then began a chant of, “We won’t back down!”