Gay rights: Parades celebrate marriage victories

June 29
GAY RIGHTS
Parades celebrate marriage victories

Gay pride parades stepped off around the nation Sunday, in cities large and small, with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their supporters celebrating a year of victories on same-sex marriage.

New York’s Fifth Avenue became one giant rainbow as thousands of participants waved multicolored flags while making their way down the street. Politicians including Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) were among those walking from Midtown Manhattan to the West Village.

The parade marked the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the 1969 uprising against police raids that were a catalyst for the gay rights movement. The parade route passes the Stonewall Inn, the site of the riots.

In Chicago, as many as 1 million people were expected to pack the streets of the city’s North Side for the first gay pride parade since Illinois legalized same-sex marriage last month.

In San Francisco, hundreds of lesbian motorcyclists took their traditional spot at the head of the 44th annual parade. The parade drew more than 100,000 spectators and participants. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-
Calif.), San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and assorted state and local politicians rolled along Market Street next to gay city police officers holding hands with their partners as their children skipped ahead.

In Seattle, thousands of people gathered downtown for the city’s 40th annual Pride Parade. This year’s theme, “Generations of Pride,” honors civil rights battles in the city that elected its first openly gay mayor in November.

Parades also were planned Sunday across the United States, including in Minneapolis and Houston. Humbler celebrations were being held in smaller towns and cities such as Augusta, Ga., and Floyd, Va., while festivals were held Saturday in France, Spain, Mexico and Peru.

— Associated Press

Hikers die at Pilchuck Falls: A search and rescue worker died during the weekend trying to save another man who fell 100 feet at Pilchuck Falls in western Washington. Skagit County authorities say the hiker also died Saturday night. A friend who got in trouble while trying to rescue the 25-year-old hiker was rescued. The accident happened about 36 miles northwest of Seattle when the two men were separated from their hiking group and tried to make their way down to the falls near Lake Cavanaugh. A Skagit County Search and Rescue team was training nearby and responded to their call for help. A 61-year-old volunteer fell and died as he tried to reach the two men.

On Sunday, authorities recovered the bodies of two men. Their names have not been released.

Woman hurt at gun show: A vendor accidentally shot a woman in the leg while demonstrating a gun and holster at a central Pennsylvania gun show, police said. The Columbia County district attorney’s office will determine whether Geoffrey Hawk, 44, will face criminal charges, Officer Brad Sharrow said. Hawk was working at a booth for his business at the Eagle Arms gun show in Bloomsburg at the time of the shooting. He told police he thought the gun was unloaded when he demonstrated a concealed-carry wallet holster to the woman, Krista Gearhart, 25, of Orangeville, Pa. Gearhart was treated and released for a thigh wound.

Man dead, another missing at Grand Canyon: Officials said a 62-year-old Ohio man died Sunday morning as he hiked out of the Grand Canyon after a commercial river trip. The National Park Service said that attempts were made to resuscitate him. The man’s name is not being released until his family is notified. The death comes amid the search for Victor Tseng, 68, of Phoenix, who reportedly fell from a ledge Friday into the Colorado River during a rafting trip in Grand Canyon National Park.

Virus alert in N.Y.: Residents of New York state are being urged to avoid mosquito bites this summer now that health officials have found the season’s first trace of West Nile virus. The state’s Department of Health said the virus was confirmed in a mosquito sample from Rockland County last week. Acting state health commissioner Howard Zucker said residents should cover up when outdoors, use insect repellent and eliminate sources of standing water, where mosquitoes breed. No human cases of the virus have been reported this year. Last year there were 33 human cases and no deaths. In 2012 there were 107 human cases and nine deaths.

— From news services

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