Thousands march for gay pride in San Francisco, Chicago, New York

7:26 PM, Jun 24, 2012   |    comments
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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."

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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