American History: President Obama Designates Stonewall Inn as National Monument to Gay Rights

Hollywood names, including the cast of Orange Is the New Black, joined the hordes of New Yorkers who came out in full force for Sunday’s pride march.

The annual march is meant to celebrate the breaking of barriers for gay rights. But today’s march, which falls on the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage across the country, also served as a remembrance for Orlando.

The lead float was dedicated to the victims of Orlando, as marchers carried 49 orange flags — the color of choice for campaigns against gun violence — through the Manhattan route. Before the parade began, many walked down Fifth Avenue holding banners with photos of those who died. The parade kicked off at 12 p.m. ET with a moment of silence for the victims.

Sunday’s pride marches, which are also taking place in San Francisco and several other U.S. cities, are happening two weeks after the deadly shooting at Pulse nightclub, the Orlando gay nightclub that has become the site of the nation’s deadliest mass shooting.

Parade-goers will see increased security, anti-violence messages and tributes to those killed in Orlando, as police ramped up security ahead of the annual parade.

New York police planned to deploy roving counterterrorism units and use bomb-sniffing dogs, rooftop observation posts, police helicopters and thousands of officers to provide extra layers of security. Thousands of uniformed officers were to line the route, in addition to plainclothes officers in the crowd.

A “We Are Orlando” solidarity group, along with gun-control and anti-gun-violence groups, have joined the lineup since the shooting has forged new bonds between gun-control and gay-rights activists.

Before the start of the parade, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the Stonewall Inn would be designated as a state historic site.

On Friday, President Barack Obama designated the bar, which saw a 1969 police raid and helped catalyze the gay rights movement, as the first national monument to gay rights.