Thousands of revelers in New York,
Chicago and San Francisco celebrated their gay communities on Sunday.
The party was held on Market Street in
San Francisco as a spirited crowd cheered on more than 200 floats.
Mayor Ed Lee walked the parade route
nearly a week after he kicked off the city's celebration with a
rainbow flag raising ceremony on Monday at City Hall.
At the ceremony, Lee promised continued
support for local HIV/AIDS services.
He also addressed the crowd at the
city's Gay Pride festival at the Civic Center soon after the parade's
Former Mayor Gavin Newsom was spotted
at the parade with his daughter.
In Chicago, a new route on the city's
North Side attracted large crowds.
It was the second Gay Pride after
Illinois lawmakers approved civil unions for gay and lesbian couples
and many revelers said it was time for marriage equality to come to
week, a Cook County judge agreed to consolidate two lawsuits
challenging the state's ban on gay marriage. Illinois officials,
including Cook County state's attorney and the Illinois attorney
general, have refused to defend the law, saying they agree the ban is
unconstitutional. The conservative Thomas More Society has said it
would intervene to defend the law. According to the Chicago
Tribune, however, the organization has yet to petition the court.
New York City's Fifth Avenue parade was
helmed by grand marshals Cyndi Lauper, Chris Salgardo, president of
cosmetics brand Kiehl's, and Phyllis Siegel and Connie Kopelov, the
first gay couple to marry in New York City.
Parade organizers said they hoped their
“Share the Love” theme would encourage the spread of marriage
equality to states that currently ban such unions.
“New York is a place where you can do
whatever you want to do,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said before
joining the parade. “The government should get out of your
Also participating were Governor Andrew
Cuomo, who signed the state's gay marriage bill into law, and City
Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who married
her partner last month.
“A year ago, I was walking with my
fiancee,” Quinn said. “Today, I'm marching with my wife, my
father and the mayor.”