As gay pride month came to a close huge crowds gathered in San Francisco and New York to celebrate gay marriage victories. Crowds attending Columbus' gay pride parade and festival celebrated along with them.

San Francisco's gay pride parade felt more like a wedding march as Californians celebrated their newfound right to marry. In New York a parade route down 5th Avenue filled with an estimated 1 million people. The star of the parade was Governor David Paterson who had signed an executive order directing state agencies to recognize valid gay marriages performed elsewhere.

Counter that with Ohio where a 2006 constitutional ban on gay marriage appears to have stunted the gay rights movement and you would expect people attending Columbus' parade to be cynical.

Yet, hope has a strange way of traveling.

Floats, marching bands, and Dykes on Bikes made their way down High Street on Saturday for the enjoyment of an estimated 115,000 paradegoers. Afterwards, a festival at Bicentennial park provided entertainment, food and GLBT information.

Speaking with people along the parade route and at the festival, the outlook for Ohio gays remained upbeat.

Johnathan was handing out safer sex kits to the crowd at the festival. He said he felt gay marriage would come to Ohio and pointed to an Obama Pride sticker when asked why.

“People in our country are waking up to the notion that we cannot run the government on ideology alone,” said Scott, who was attending the parade with friend Brad. “[Denying marriage to gay couples] is an unusual form of discrimination.”

Girlfriends Sara and Kelsee had traveled from Kentucky to attend the festival. Both were in agreement that a new president with a new outlook offered hope for the future.

In fact, everyone asked was optimistic that Ohio would catch up to California and New York.

About 4:30PM people began to disperse when strong winds and rain hampered the outdoor event.

Back on High Street - Columbus' gay district - a gay couple sat in a booth along the wall at the Northstar restaurant. They were tired and wet, but still appeared happy and hopeful as they dined.