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Millions attend Pride parades across U.S. as Supreme Court decision casts shadow on events

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Millions attend Pride parades across U.S. as Supreme Court decision casts shadow on events
Participants march up Market Street in the annual LGBT Pride Parade in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday. Many marchers weighed in on the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

June 26 (UPI) -- Millions of Americans attended Pride parades across United States on Sunday as the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade cast a shadow on the events.

Thousands of people filled the streets of New York City on Sunday to participate in the NYC Pride March after the organization Heritage of Pride, which organizes the event, announced that Planned Parenthood would be the first group to step off during the event.

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"Yesterday's Supreme Court decision overturning nearly five decades of protections and reproductive freedom is devastating," Heritage of Pride said in its statement.

"This dangerous decision puts millions in harm's way, gives government control over our individual freedom to choose, and sets a disturbing precedent that puts many other constitutional rights and freedoms in jeopardy."

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New York's first Pride march was called the Christopher Street Liberation Day March and was held in 1970 to mark the first anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots.

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The Stonewall Inn is a historic gay bar in Greenwich Village that police officers violently raided in 1969, sparking an uprising in the streets of Manhattan seeking justice and equality for the LGBTQ community.

Over the years, the annual event held in cities nationwide has more resembled a large block party than a protest march but Heritage of Pride's statement appeared to call for a return to the event's political roots.

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"Pride was born of protest and will always be a space to fight injustice and discrimination. Join us as we advocate for bodily autonomy at this year's NYC Pride March," the statement reads.

Mayor Eric Adams was among politicians asked to step off early during into the parade and released a statement afterward to Twitter celebrating "the accomplishments of our LGBTQ+ movement."

"New York City is the city of Stonewall, of struggle, protest, and progress," Adams said.

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In Nashville, revelers told The Tennessean that the Supreme Court decision was on everyone's mind attending the event fearing that the decision to overturn the landmark ruling could lead to further challenges for the LGBTQ community.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a separate concurring opinion with the majority opinion, which was written by Justice Samuel Alito, that the Supreme Court should next consider going after contraceptives and rights for LGBTQ people.

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"There was a lot of anger in our community yesterday. It's a weird atmosphere for everyone, but we're trying to have a good time," Jake Yoder, 22, told the outlet.

Last week, Pride flags were burned and homes were set on fire in Baltimore's Abell neighborhood, Baltimore Brew reported. The incident remains under investigation as a possible federal hate crime.

Despite the fire and the Supreme Court decision, Baltimore paradegoers told the outlet that it remained a "happy day" for the LGBTQ community.

"We need to be out here now more than ever. But we are here," Abbi James, an attendee of the event, told the Baltimore Brew.

San Francisco Pride released a statement on Saturday ahead of the city's event announcing that its parade would kick off with activists and organizations "fighting to overcome the equality and violence issues our community continues to face."

"The overturn of Roe vs. wade has amplified the tight connection between LGBTQ+ rights and issues of reproductive health," the statement reads.

"We are proud to announce we will be joining forces this year with Women's March SF to lead the contingent. Women's March SF has long been the standard-bearer in our city for issues of reproductive justice and make for a natural fit to stand together with us in the fight for equality overall."

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