First New York Pride March since Orlando shooting targets gun control

Updated: 2016-06-27 09:57


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First New York Pride March since Orlando shooting targets gun control

A woman holds a sign advocating for gun control while marching with the Moms Demand Action against gun violence contingent at the San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade in San Francisco, California, US June 26, 2016.  [Photo/Agencies]

NEW YORK - Two weeks after the worst mass shooting in US history at a gay nightclub in Orlando, New York City held its 46th annual and largest Gay Pride Parade on Sunday with gun control as one of the core themes.

A record 32,000 marchers participated in this year's event, according to local media. The parade also came one year after a US Supreme Court ruling made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.

The parade kicked off at around noon following a moment of silence for the victims in the Orlando shootings. A group of 49 people in white veils marched in silent with photos and names of every victim killed.

Presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has joined New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio later in the march near the iconic Stonewall inn, the center for the gay rights movement in 1960s which has just been declared a national monument by US President Barack Obama on Friday.

Gun control had become one of the central themes in the parade, as many group of marchers carrying banners and signs with "End Gun Violence," "NRA Stay Away" and urging stricter gun control legislative measures. Some marchers had carried out sitting protests to demand stricter gun control.

"I think the stricter the better," said Henry Sherwood who was watching the parade alongside Bleeker Street.

"I think we need to make sure it's like the rest of the world."

"It's just terrible, nobody should be able to go into a nightclub and kill people like that," said an onlooker named Lisa.

"Those kind of rifles are not meant for regular people," she added.

On June 12, a lone gunman armed with an assault rifle and a handgun opened fire at a gay club in the southeastern U.S. city of Orlando, killing 49 people and wounding another 53. The incident was considered a hate crime against the LGBT community and sparked controversy for the country's lax gun laws.

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