NEW YORK (AP) — Activists who believe that New York City's massive gay pride parade has become too corporate are planning an alternative "Queer Liberation March" on the same day.
Both events on June 30 will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots that helped spark the modern gay rights movement. The alternative march is slated to start at 9:30 a.m., while the main pride march will start at noon.
Organizers of the alternative event said Tuesday that they are negotiating with the city Parks Department for a rally on the Great Lawn of Central Park after their march. A Parks Department spokeswoman confirmed that the negotiations are taking place.
The group, called the Reclaim Pride Coalition, "wants to make sure that Stonewall 50 lives up to the spirit of what happened here 50 years ago," civil liberties lawyer Norman Siegel said at a news conference announcing the group's plans.
The official gay pride parade has grown from its scrappy origins into a daylong affair with more than 100 floats and contingents from major corporations.
Cathy Renna, a spokeswoman for NYC Pride, sponsors of the main march and other events commemorating the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, said she hopes the alternative march is a success, adding, "We have over 50 events that we are working to make as safe and accessible and inclusive as we possibly can for the community, whether they be cultural events or political events or film festivals or family events or the march itself."