Turkish police use tear gas to prevent LGBT pride march in Istanbul

Danny Woods
June 27, 2017

"Gay people are getting beat up all the time", she said.

Twenty-year-old Lee Sorge, a transgender man from NY, said he came for the first time in part to show support for the gay community in light of the political climate.

NYC march's grand marshals this year include the American Civil Liberties Union, which was chosen for its history of litigation defending gay rights; Brooke Guinan, a transgender woman who works as a firefighter in the city; and Geng Le, a gay rights activist in China. Meanwhile, Kendall Bermudez, a 21-year-old parade-goer from New Jersey, felt empowered by the huge showing there.

He told the AFP that the recent Supreme Court decision to review the matter was "unfortunate (and) very disappointing", but added that "I feel it was only a roadblock in a fight that we all know was going to be long anyway". "I felt like this would be a way to not necessarily rebel, but just my way to show solidarity for marginalized people in trying times", said Hecker, a marketing consultant who lives in suburban Chicago. On Sunday, Cuomo, a Democrat, also formally appointed Paul G. Feinman to the New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest court.

But the pride celebrations also faced some resistance from within the LGBT community itself.

In downtown Minneapolis on Sunday, activists briefly disrupted a pride march by bringing attention to lingering anger over the death of Philando Castile, and the acquittal of Jeronimo Yanez, the officer who shot him, according to a report in the Star Tribune.

The Seattle Police Department, which put rainbow-colored decals on their patrol cars, said a group of people blocked the parade route for about 30 minutes to hold a sit-in in honor of Charleena Lyles, the black mother slain by city police a week ago.

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Istanbul's pride march attracted tens of thousands of people in the past, making it one of the biggest in the Muslim world but in 2015 it was broken up by police and was banned last year and again this year after threats from the ultra-nationalist Alperen Hearths group.

Pride parades in San Francisco, Minneapolis and other cities are spotlighting resistance to what participants see as new pressure on gay rights. On Friday, organizers apologized and said the officers were welcome to march.

March organizers have taken some steps to address the criticisms about diversity.

"The pride celebration is a platform for that dialogue to happen", San Francisco Pride board president Michelle Meow said this week.

Protesters for "Black Lives Matter" also delayed the start of the Seattle parade, parade-goers said. Despite that, McPeters said that she feels things for gay people have been getting worse.

In some cities, there were scattered counter protests, a small group in NY urging parade-goers to "repent for their sins".

"This year, especially, it's a bit of a different atmosphere", said Grace Cook, a 17-year-old from suburban Chicago who noted the more political tone in this year's parade, including at least one anti-Trump float. "So we have a lot more work to do, that's why we are here today".

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