South Florida honors, celebrates 50th anniversary of Stonewall riots

By Roy Ramos - Reporter, Associated Press

WILTON MANORS, Fla. - South Floridians took to the streets Saturday for events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising that fueled the fire for a global LGBTQ movement.

Thousands were on hand in Wilton Manors as the city hosted its Pride parade, part of a planned eight-hour spectacle with many turning out to take part.

"I just wanted to express myself and be who I am here and just celebrate being gay," said Stephanie.

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony led off the parade filled with colorful floats down Wilton Drive.

"This parade really is part of a by product of what law enforcement did not do and the failure to protect the rights of every single citizen and that echoed from New York all the way all the way across the country," said Tony. 

The uproar at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City's West Village, began on June 28, 1969, when bar patrons and area residents, tired of harassment that was still allowed by law, clashed with police officers who had come to raid the nightspot. Demonstrations continued for the next several nights.

Those events weren't the first resistance act of the gay rights movement, but it galvanized activism in the United States and around the world.

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