- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 23, 2016

Barbara Poma, owner of the Orlando gay nightclub where 49 people were gunned down June 12 by an Islamic extremist, will ride on the lead float Sunday in New York City’s LGBT Pride March.

The names of the 49 victims will also be read aloud and a moment of silence will be held during the march, NY1 News reported.

Officials are ramping up security for this year’s march, which organizers expect will be the largest ever.

The NYPD said it will deploy both uniformed and plainclothes officers with a special focus on anti-terrorism.

“This year we have an obligation to our nation in the wake of Orlando to show what pride and exclusion looks like and the whole city will be celebrating and standing up for our LGBT community,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a security briefing Thursday, NY1 reported.

The march begins Sunday at noon. Ms. Poma and the Pulse’s entertainment manager are also expected to address a kickoff rally Friday night, NY1 reported.

“The worst thing we could do as a community is to hide,” said NYC Pride co-chair David Studinski. “Many of us started in closets and the last thing any of us should do is go back into them. And that’s what this weekend is really about is going out and showing our pride.”

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