Some memorable moments of the L.A. Pride parade through the years

Edward Williams, 24, waves flags during the Annual West Hollywood Gay Pride Parade in 2009.
Edward Williams, 24, waves flags during the Annual West Hollywood Gay Pride Parade in 2009.
(Christina House / For the Times)

The LA Pride parade is usually a celebration for the LGBTQ community. But this year, organizers are returning to its political roots with the Resist March.

“We’re getting back to our roots,” Brian Pendleton, a board member for Christopher Street West, the nonprofit that organizes the annual event, told The Times in March. “We will be resisting forces that want to roll back our rights, and politicians who want to make us second-class citizens.”

Here’s a look back at the parade’s history and its memorable moments.


The first LA Pride Parade

The first parade took place in Hollywood — at a time when gay sex was actually illegal in California. It was organized to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots, an uprising triggered by a police raid of a gay bar in New York City.

The LGBTQ community in L.A. also had experiences with police brutality. Officers beat gay patrons and arrested 14 for same-sex kissing — which was illegal during the time — at the Black Cat on New Year’s Day 1967. That event sparked gay-rights protests.

The first LA Pride Parade took place along Hollywood Boulevard on June 29, 1970. (Associated Press)
(Associated Press)


The parade is a no-show

The parade skipped a year in 1973 due to infighting among the organizers, “offensive” parade floats and opposition from some bar owners, according to The Advocate.


‘Defeat Briggs’

Parade attendees protested the Briggs Initiative, a proposed measure that would have banned LGBTQ people from working in California public schools.

Young men chant against the Briggs proposition during the Gay Pride Parade held on Hollywood Boulevard. (Christopher Hardy / Los Angeles Times)


The parade moves to West Hollywood

The parade moved to Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood — now one of the biggest LGBTQ-friendly cities — after the community incorporated.


AIDS epidemic

An AIDS advocacy group staged a die-in, forming chalk outlines to represent people who died of AIDS.

Parade participants stage a die-in at San Vicente and Santa Monica Boulevard. (Lisa Romerein / Los Angeles TImes)
(Lisa Romerein /)


Same-sex marriage win in California

Attendees celebrated the California Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage in the state. But later that year, California voters approved Proposition 8, which eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Robin Tyler and Diane Olsen celebrate the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage by riding on a wedding float together on June 8, 2008. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
(Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)


NOH8 and Prop. 8

The NOH8 movement — and many other LGBTQ organizations — jumped into action when Proposition 8 was enacted in California. The campaign, created by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and his partner Jeff Parshley, rallied for marriage equality and gay rights by using images of people wearing duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being “silenced.”

NOH8 participates during the LA Pride Parade on June 12, 2011. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
(gary friedman / Los Angeles Times)


‘Equal dignity’: Same-sex marriage becomes a right

The U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling on same-sex marriage is highlighted during the 2016 parade. (There had been an impromptu celebration in June of 2015, hours after the court’s decision.)

Couple Lulu Garcia and Dani Garcia kiss during the annual LA Pride Parade in West Hollywood. This was their first pride parade. (Harrison Hill / Los Angeles Times)
(Harrison Hill / Los Angeles Times)


Pulse shooting creates a somber tone

Last year’s parade took place just a few hours after a mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in which 49 people were fatally shot. The 29-year-old gunman, Omar Mateen, had spoken in the past of his hatred for gay people.

The typically joyous LA Pride Parade in West Hollywood took on a somber tone Sunday in the wake of the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., that killed 49 people. (Dillon Deaton / Los Angeles Times)