The Hudson Valley LGBTQ pride march and festival will take place this Sunday, June 1 in New Paltz. The event begins with a rally for equal rights and justice for all in the parking lot of the New Paltz Middle School from noon to 1 p.m. The pride march steps off just before 1 p.m. Following the march, there will be a festival at Hasbrouck Park. Award-winning musicians and performers — including comedienne Julie Novak, trailblazing all-women rock band Big Sister, Woodstock-based rock group Hemingway’s Cat and the all-youth Percussion Orchestra of Kingston — will take the stage. The festival runs from 1 to 4 p.m.
The festivities conclude with a party-after-pride from 4 to 8 p.m. at Joe’s East-West in New Paltz, featuring live DJs, rooftop dancing and a performance by award-winning rock group Sister Funk.
Evan Wolfson, marriage equality pioneer and founder and president of the internationally-recognized Freedom to Marry, has been named Grand Marshal for the 2014 pride march and festival.
Joining Wolfson as co-Grand Marshals are Ulster County residents Suzanne McHugh and AnnaMae Schuler, who participated in the historic 2004 weddings presided over by New Paltz Mayor Jason West that brought international attention to the issue of marriage equality.
“We are delighted that Mr. Wolfson will be a Grand Marshal this year,” said Jan Whitman, board president of the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, sponsors of the event. “His decades-long commitment to social justice deserves special recognition, and we are pleased to honor him. The courage that Suzanne and AnnaMae displayed in a loving act of civil disobedience has helped pave the way for thousands of couples to be legally married today.”
A nationally-renowned civil rights attorney, Wolfson argued the case of gay Eagle Scout James Dale before the U.S. Supreme Court in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. In 2004, TIME Magazine named him among “the 100 most influential people in the world.” In 2012, Wolfson was honored with the Barnard Medal of Distinction, joined by co-winner President Barack Obama.
“Ten years after the now-famous New Paltz weddings, the movement for LGBTQ equality has been claiming significant ground with marriage equality around the nation,” said JoAnne Myers, the Center’s vice president and a professor of political science at Marist College. “We are proud to name Evan Wolfson Grand Marshal of this year’s Hudson Valley LGBTQ pride march. His tireless work has served as an inspiration to millions of LGBTQ people who refuse to be second-class citizens, and his campaign for marriage equality continues across America.”
For more information, visit https://lgbtqcenter.org/pride.