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>> Organizers of the 2016 Pride March in New York are expecting more than 2 million people on Sunday, the victims of the Orlando mass shooting very much on the hearts and minds of people here just two weeks after the incident. I'm Cassandra Garrison for Reuters, in New York.
A record 40,000 people marching down Fifth Avenue from Midtown Manhattan into Greenwich Village, 440 groups will be participating. Just days after the Orlando shooting, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio invited people from all over the world to come to New York for this pride march this year to show solidarity and unity.
>> We have the most vibrant LGBT community anywhere in the world right here in New York City.>> Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma and Pulse manager Nema Bayrami are both here as well in this march today. In the lead float, which will be surrounded by Color Guard from Scouts for Equality, carrying 49 orange flags in commemoration of those 49 lives lost in Orlando.
People have told us that they are very much here in support and in unity with the LGBT community, especially in the wake of Orlando as they want to shed light on the challenges still faced by the LGBT community, not just here in New York but around the world.
>> We as Americans need to come together and just show strength and unite as one and show love.>> And we're also told by organizers that there is an increased police presence here in New York this year. While many spectators here today told us they want to show support for the LGBT community, some people are taking it a step further.
We spoke to John Grauwiler, a co-founder of Gays Against Guns, which is a group he tells us that was formed out of outrage at the Orlando mass shooting. Gays Against Guns was one of the many groups walking down 5th Avenue Sunday, and for them the march was an opportunity, John told us, to speak out against homophobia and what they consider flawed gun policy.
The gun control debate obviously front and center in the wake of Orlando.