Love is more powerful than hate. That was the message of a peaceful gathering outside a New York State City Hall.
Supporters of the LGBT+ community organised the gathering after a man removed the Gay Pride flag from Watertown City Hall and stuffed it into a postbox.
The demonstrators celebrated the news that police arrested the man.
“Watertown won’t stand for this anymore,” organiser Seth Hill said.
Hill and his partner Sexton Reese put the event together.
They say the LGBT+ community here just wants to be loved, so they stand together in front of city hall to chant as passing cars honk in support.
“Watertown is all inclusive,” Hill said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re part of the LGBTQ community or if you’re straight, Republican, Democrat — we are all here together to show we will not stand for hate and love will prevail.”
With signs in hand, dozens of people took to the city streets, making the sidewalks bright with the colours of the rainbow.
“I just want this to be a message to even the youth that are driving by in the back seats of the car to know that if you are part of the LGBTQIA community, you are accepted, you are loved, we are here for you,” Reece said. “There’s a community, we are strong, we are just as tight as a family and we take care of each other.”
And to those who came out to support the cause?
“Watertown, I’m extremely proud of you,” Reece said. “Keep pushing on and, you know, let’s make the future more colorful.”
The Pride flag will stay flying until the end of June, which is Gay Pride Month.