These Photos Show People Celebrating LGBT Progress Around the World
We’re used to summer pride celebrations—parades and festivals marking the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. This year’s celebrations, however, were especially powerful given last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling affirming the right of all Americans—including same-sex couples—to legally marry. “It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage,” Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the court’s majority opinion, adding: “They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
In many ways, the court’s ruling was a perfect cap on June’s pride celebrations. On Friday night, the White House was bathed in rainbow-colored lights. In New York, thousands of people partied outside the Stonewall Inn, a bar where the American LGBT movement gained traction in the late 1960s. The pride celebrations continued with parades in New York and San Francisco—and in Mexico City, Toronto, and London.
Yet, despite the celebrations of this extraordinary moment of progress, reminders of bigotry remain. In Istanbul, Turkey’s cosmopolitan capital, police fired water cannons and rubber pellets at people attending the pride parade, which had run peacefully for nearly a dozen years. This year, however, organizers say the government declined to formally give permission to hold the celebration, mainly because it conflicted with Ramadan, the Muslim holy period. Homosexuality isn’t illegal in Turkey, but homophobia is pervasive, as it is across much of the Muslim world. In more than 70 countries, it is still illegal to be gay.
Meanwhile, in Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton, announced plans to defy the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling, saying county clerks can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on religious grounds.
Same-sex marriage has been legalized across the U.S., but LGBT people face many barriers to equality, including lack of housing opportunities, employment discrimination, and lack of accurate gender markers on government-issued IDs for transgender people.