New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has canceled all large gatherings scheduled for June. NYC Pride was one of the few holdouts not to already cancel or delay the festivities.
“New York City is the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. We’ve come a long way since the first Christopher Street Liberation Day March 50 years ago, which is a testament to the bravery and resiliency of LGBTIA+ New Yorkers in the struggle for equality,” said Mayor de Blasio.
“While this pandemic prevents us from coming together to march, it will in no way stop us from celebrating the indelible contributions that the LGBTIA+ community has made to New York City or from recommitting ourselves to the fight for equal rights.”
“As the days have passed, it has become more and more clear that even with a decline in the spread of COVID-19, large-scale events such as ours are unlikely to happen in the near future,” said Maryanne Roberto Fine, NYC Pride Co-Chair. “We understand that we need to reimagine NYC Pride events – and have already begun to do just that.”
The Puerto Rican Day Parade and Celebrate Israel parade were also canceled along with any large gatherings, concerts, and rallies.
Other Pride celebrations have already called off plans for this year, including San Francisco, but an international group of organizations is coming together to stage a Global Pride on June 27.
“In many places around the country, Pride parades and festivals offer LGBTQ people a chance to gather with their community and feel free to fully express themselves,” Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said. “For this reason, it is disappointing – but ultimately, appropriate – to see many of these events canceled.”
“As we see our way through the COVID-19 crisis, we cannot be too careful. We know that LGBTQ people are at a greater risk of both the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, so we as a community must do all we can to stay safe and healthy. But, like we always do, the LGBTQ community will continue to find strength in our community – even if we have to do it virtually for now.”