LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An attack in New York in 1969, the Stonewall riots, ignited the gay rights movement in the United States and led to a celebration of freedom.
One year later, Los Angeles hosted the nation’s first legally permitted Pride parade.
The parade, which drew about 2,000 people, made its way down Hollywood Boulevard. It almost never happened, but it went on thanks to Reverend Troy Perry and others.
Perry, who is a Vietnam veteran turned gay minister, led the charge starting with a permit to the L.A. Police Commission.
After much pushback, the Commission came back with a decision — fees totaling more than $1.5 million, making it nearly impossible for the parade to proceed.
However, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) got involved and took the LAPD to court, where the judge heard the case and allowed the parade to be held.
Reverend Perry made history as he rode in the parade with his partner and mother by his side.
“For the first time — really in daylight — it proved thousands of us could gather and we were not going to take nonsense anymore from anybody and we are gonna win our rights and here we are 51 years later and overall we have,” Perry said.
Fifty-one years later, Pride parades are celebrated around the world because even though many rights have been won, activists say there is still so much to fight for.
Due to the pandemic, the L.A. Pride parade was canceled last year and this year, but there are still smaller events being held to celebrate Pride.