SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — For a 42nd year, San Francisco has celebrated its lesbian, gay and transgender community.
Police officers, cheerleaders and politicians marched in the city's gay pride parade, joined by more than 200 floats. They were accompanied by loud sirens, flashing lights and countless rainbow flags and banners.
A few marchers were dressed in elaborate, brightly colored outfits made from balloons.
Organizers call the events in San Francisco over the weekend the nation's largest LGBT gathering. But thousands also celebrated in Chicago and New York City.
In Chicago, large crowds gathered on the city's North Side, with many saying it was time for Illinois to allow gay marriage.
New York's parade-goers toasted the anniversary of the state's same-sex marriage law.
Before joining a parade along Fifth Avenue, Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared, "New York is a place where you can do whatever you want to do." He said his message for the rest of America is that "the government should get out of your personal life."
167-a-11-(Chris Frederick, director, New York City Pride parade, in AP interview)-"world to celebrate"-New York City Pride parade director Chris Frederick says the theme this year is "Share The Love" which is perfect for the one-year anniversary of same-sex marriage becoming legal in the state. (24 Jun 2012)
<<CUT *167 (06/24/12)>> 00:11 "world to celebrate"
165-a-10-(Tamara Richard, parade-goer, in AP interview)-"who you are"-Tamara Richard, who was attending the parade with her girlfriend, says it's is an opportunity to show the world what gay pride is. (24 Jun 2012)
<<CUT *165 (06/24/12)>> 00:10 "who you are"
164-a-07-(Cyndi Lauper, musician, one of the parade Grand Marshals, in AP interview)-"all about celebrating"-Cyndi Lauper, who was one of the parade Grand Marshals, says she loves being part of it. (24 Jun 2012)
<<CUT *164 (06/24/12)>> 00:07 "all about celebrating"