These Photos Show People Celebrating LGBT Progress Around the World

The U.S. Supreme Court’s legalization of marriage for all Americans caps a monthlong celebration for LGBT people.
New York City police officers celebrate gay pride. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)
Jun 29, 2015· 2 MIN READ
Daniela Franco covers social justice issues for TakePart. She studies journalism, sociology, and Latin American affairs at New York University, and has written for The New York Times Student Journalism Institute.

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.

Rain didn’t stop New York City’s pride parade, for which Ian McKellen (left) and Derek Jacobi served as grand marshals. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

An attendee wore bright-red high heels at the pride parade in New York City. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)
In Istanbul, an LGBT rights activist walked in the main shopping and pedestrian street of Istiklal. Later that day, Turkish police fired water cannons at the attendees to diffuse the parade, which had taken place peacefully for 12 years. (Photo: Huseyin Aldemir/Reuters)
Two pride parade attendees in Istanbul sit on the ground as police fire water cannons at the crowd. (Photo: Kemal Aslan/Reuters)
A man holds a rainbow-colored Canadian flag attached to a hockey stick during the gay pride parade in Toronto. (Photo: Mark Blinch/Reuters)
A London gay pride participant wears an elaborate golden outfit and headpiece. (Photo: Niel Hall/Reuters)
Two people holding a rainbow flag walk in the pride parade in San José, Costa Rica. (Photo: Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters)