New Yorkers celebrate marriage law at Gay Pride Parade

Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:46pm EDT
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By Paula Rogo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two days after the state legalized same-sex marriages, New York's annual Gay Pride Parade seemed more like a brash, colorful wedding procession on Sunday than an annual rally.

Parade organizers estimated as many as 2 million spectators turned out to celebrate the 42nd annual LGBT Pride March on Sunday. Many considered it the most electric in the Parade's history.

Although this year's theme was "Proud and Powerful," the New York gay community feted the legalization of same-sex marriage, which was signed into law late on Friday by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

"I have participated in it for many years, but it is extra special today," Cuomo said at a news conference before the parade set off.

"I am so proud to be the governor of this state and to sign this law into effect," he added.

Cuomo, who wore a colorful gay pride flag tucked in his jacket pocket, marched alongside New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Cheers rang out from the crowd whenever the governor was announced, with many holding "Thank you Governor Cuomo" and "You kept your promise" signs.

"I believe New York has sent a message to this nation loud and clear," the governor said. "It is time for marriage equality all across this country."   Continued...

<p>A man takes part in the Gay Pride Parade in New York June 26, 2011. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi</p>