Pride celebrated in New York, London as Orlando's shadow lingers

Millions took part in pride parades around the world this weekend, two weeks after a mass shooting in a Florida nightclub stirred fear and solidarity among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Police amped up security to counter threats

Participants march in the New York City Pride March, June 26, 2016 in New York City. ((Drew Angerer/Getty Images))

With a moment of silence followed by the roar of motorcycles, New York City's gay pride parade kicked off Sunday, a celebration of barriers breached and a remembrance of the lives lost in the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

(Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Crowds of onlookers stood a dozen deep along Fifth Avenue, many waving rainbow flags. Some spectators held up orange "We are Orlando" signs, and indications of increased security were everywhere, with armed officers standing by.

An announcer introducing state officials and guests — like presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and civil rights activist Al Sharpton — also shouted out, "Love is love! New York is Orlando!" in memory of the 49 people killed in Florida.

(Adrees Latif/Reuters)
(Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

The New York march had added significance. On Friday, President Barack Obama designated the site around the city's Stonewall Inn as the first national monument to gay rights. A 1969 police raid on the bar helped catalyze the gay rights movement.

And just before the start of the parade, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the Stonewall Inn would be designated as a state historic site and that New York would erect a monument in honour of all victims of hate and intolerance, including those killed in Orlando.

(Seth Wenig/Associated Press)

The lead float in New York's parade was dedicated to the Orlando victims. And gun-control, anti-gun-violence groups joined the lineup since the shooting forged new bonds between them and gay-rights activists. Barbara Poma, the owner of Pulse nightclub, where the deadly mass shooting took place, rode on a float.

(Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Stepped up security

New York's parade was one of several being held Sunday across the U.S., along with big gatherings in San Francisco and Chicago. Security has been increased at each in wake of the Orlando attack.

New York police deployed roving counterterrorism units and used bomb-sniffing dogs, rooftop observation posts, police helicopters and thousands of officers to provide extra layers of security at the parade. Thousands of uniformed officers also lined the route, supplemented by plainclothes officers in the crowd.

(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

San Francisco spectators will face metal detectors for the first time, and more police than usual will keep watch. Some participants aren't welcoming the stepped-up security: Two honorary grand marshals and a health clinic that serves sex workers withdrew Friday from the parade to protest the heavy police presence.

A pride parade in Istanbul was broken up by police on Sunday after authorities banned their rally in the city. At least 19 activists have been detained.

(Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images)
(Murad Sezer/Reuters)

The activists had assembled on a main pedestrian street to issue a statement in honour of gay rights and to denounce the ban. Police later fired tear gas and rubber pellets to disperse activists gathering in side streets.

Police proposals

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of London on Saturday for their annual pride parade but many still had Brexit on the brain. Some expressed concerns at the parade as Britain gears up to part ways with the European Union after Thursday's referendum.

(Neil Hall/Reuters)

But others came to celebrate.

(Peter Nicholls/Reuters)
(Peter Nicholls/Reuters)

Among the parade's most memorable moments were a pair of police officer proposals. One police officer stopped part way through the parade to propose to his partner, who was watching from the sidelines. That was followed by lots of cheers from the crowd and popping confetti.

Metropolitan Police confirmed on Twitter that there was another proposal ... and that partner said "yes" too. Pride celebrations continue next weekend with Toronto's parade, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will march.

With files from Reuters and CBC News