Washington gay pride parade draws
thousands, briefly blocked by protest
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[June 12, 2017]
By Lacey Johnson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Thousands of
revelers, some waving rainbow flags symbolizing gay rights, crowded
Washington streets on Saturday for the city's gay pride parade in an
annual party that saw anti-corporate protesters briefly block its route.
Cheering spectators packed sidewalks as floats with rainbow balloons and
papier mache rainbows snaked 1.5 miles (2.4 km) through residential
neighborhoods several blocks north of the White House. In almost 90
Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) heat, some men went shirtless or donned feather
Protesters who oppose the Capital Pride parade's corporate backing,
which includes bank Wells Fargo & Co <WFC.N> and weapons maker Northrop
Grumman Corp <NOC.N>, briefly blocked the parade route and forced it to
The protest group, No Justice No Pride, said in a statement that Capital
Pride also needed to add a transgender minority woman to its board and
bar police from marching in the parade.
The Capital Pride parade was among a bevy of gay pride events this
weekend scheduled for cities across the United States, including Boston,
Detroit, Milwaukee, and Kalamazoo, Michigan.
“We need to be out here to tell people that God loves them for who they
are and who they love,” said the Rev. Alex Dyer, 38, an Episcopal priest
from Washington who marched in the parade with his husband and
The parade in the heavily Democratic U.S. capital featured T-shirts that
said "Love Trumps Hate," an apparent reference to President Donald
Trump. The Republican has voiced support for gay rights but his
administration has revoked federal guidelines that let transgender
students use bathrooms of their choice.
Damian Jessup, 30, who traveled from Norfolk, Virginia, to march with
gay Republicans, defended Trump and his support for gays.
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Thousands celebrate the annual LGBTQ Capital Pride parade in
Washington June 10, 2017. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan
“I lost a lot of friends when I came out as Republican," said
Jessup, who was wearing a Trump T-shirt. "It’s harder to come out as
Republican than to come out as gay."
The Washington parade came a day ahead of a so-called Resist March
in Los Angeles against Trump, which is taking the place of the
annual pride parade.
In San Francisco, the SF Weekly newspaper reported the parade in
that city would include a "resistance contingent" and an immigrant
Early on Monday, the owner of the shuttered Pulse gay nightclub in
Orlando, Florida, is set to open its doors in remembrance of victims
of a mass shooting there on June 12, 2016, that killed 49 people.
(Additional reporting by Ian Simpson; Writing by Ian Simpson;
Editing by Mary Milliken)
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