As the hearse carrying John Lewis’ body drove through Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood last Wednesday, it made a lengthy and symbolic stop at a rainbow crosswalk as dozens of people gathered on the sidewalk to watch the procession pass.

“It feels very appropriate that that stop was prolonged for John Lewis’ legacy,” Victoria Kirby York of the National LGBTQ Task Force told NBC News. “I believe his vocal leadership and support in championing LGBTQ equality — even prior to it becoming a cool thing for people to hop on the bandwagon for — was critical in being able to shift public opinion across the country.”

York added: “He was about civil rights, equality and liberation for everybody. Period. Full stop.”

The stop by Lewis’ motorcade — lasting nearly a minute — was an acknowledgement of his vocal advocacy over the years for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans.

Richard Hack is an award-winning author and journalist. He Is LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings' Vice President of Content and Executive Editor of

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