Sea of Rainbows Bathes San Francisco for Annual Pride Parade - NBC Bay Area
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Sea of Rainbows Bathes San Francisco for Annual Pride Parade

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A weekend jampacked with community events celebrating the LGBTQ community drew more than a million people and culminated Sunday with the wildly popular LGBT Pride Parade in San Francisco. Thom Jensen reports.

    (Published Monday, June 26, 2017)

    A weekend jam-packed with community events celebrating the LGBTQ community drew more than a million people and culminated Sunday with the wildly popular LGBT Pride Parade in San Francisco.

    The 47th annual event, which is one of the largest in the world, kicked off at 10:30 a.m. The parade traveled along Market Street beginning at Beale Street and ending at Eighth Street. After the parade, the celebration continued with a rally chock-full of inspirational speakers and performers at Civic Center Plaza from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    San Francisco Celebrates PrideSan Francisco Celebrates Pride

    While promoting identity and diversity was on the forefront of many parade participants' minds, there was also an added spotlight on legal protections for the gay community and staunch resistance to the policies flowing from the Trump administration.

    Chanting while marching along Market Street, folks flashed signs reading "Drive Out Trump/Pence Fascist Regime!" and yelled "45 has got to go," which refers to President Donald Trump, the 45th commander in chief of the United States.

    Political dignitaries were among those who appeared and spoke at the rally.

    "This is love, and this is joy, and this is happiness," Rep. Jackie Speier said. "This is what America should be about, not hatred, which is spewing out of the White House right now."

    Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom added: "We're not about division. We're about inclusion, and we're about celebrating our differences."

    And finally, Mayor Ed Lee chimed in: "Everybody is very mindful; they're ready to fight for their rights and be anti-discriminatory and be the beacon for the rest of the country. This is San Francisco. Everybody is proud to be here."

    Some other partygoers celebrating gay pride held signs Sunday that read "No Ban, No Wall, Welcome Sisters and Brothers'' while they danced to electronic music at a stage near San Francisco's City Hall.

    Frank Reyes and his husband Paul Brady said they decided to march for the first time in many years because they feel need to stand up for their rights.

    Brady says things are changing quickly and "we need to be as visible as possible.''

    With millions of people traveling to the city by the bay this weekend for Pride festivities, officials beefed up security to protect those celebrating. Law enforcement officials are reminding Pride participants to trust their intuition and report any suspicious behavior.

    The number of uniform and plainclothes officers was high Sunday, and participants at the rally were screened at security checkpoints via metal detectors or wands. Large bags, alcohol, illegal substances, weapons, coolers and fireworks are just some of the many prohibited items.

    The security efforts came on the heels of several recent terror-related attacks across Europe and the deadly 2016 shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

    Rainbows Shine as Cities Across the US Celebrate PrideRainbows Shine as Cities Across the US Celebrate Pride

    Prior to Sunday's parade and rally, San Francisco Pride featured a Trans March Friday, the creation of the iconic Pink Triangle Saturday and the San Francisco Dyke March, which also occurred Saturday. There were also a host of parties across the city into the late-night hours, but the "Pink Saturday" event was called off for the second-straight year because of security concerns.

    Pride attendees are strongly encouraged to utilize public transportation when it comes to heading to and leaving the parade. A number of roads will be blocked off during the weekend.

    BART added more and longer trains to its service to accommodate the large crowds, according to the transportation agency. BART riders were asked to purchase round-trip tickets or use pre-loaded tickets to ease congestion inside stations.

    For more information regarding the parade, visit the parade website.

    The Associated Press contributed this report.

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