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Governor Andrew Cuomo The Big Star At New York Gay Pride Parade

Hundreds of thousands gathered to celebrate New York?s 42nd annual gay pride parade on Sunday just tow after the State Senate voted to legalize same-sex marriage. The big star of the event was Governor Andrew Cuomo, the person who helped win the battle for NY gay marriage.

AFP reports:

Thousands of elated gays, lesbians and their friends hailed New York’s approval of same-sex marriage with a triumphant gay pride parade Sunday, capping days of celebration over the landmark new law.

The parade, an annual tradition here celebrating diversity and tolerance, began heading south from Fifth Avenue towards Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, to stream past the historic Stonewall Inn, the gay-friendly bar raided by police 42 years ago, sparking what has become the modern day US gay rights movement.

Marchers, backed by blaring dance music and rainbow-colored balloon displays, held up signs in tribute to state Governor Andrew Cuomo for spearheading the “Marriage Equality Act” and promptly signing it into law on Friday.

“Thank you, Governor Cuomo. Promise kept,” read signs held up by some activists.

Cuomo himself marched at the head of the parade, waving a small rainbow flag alongside his celebrity chef girlfriend Sandra Lee, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.


NY Daily News
adds:

“Thank you Governor Cuomo,” bellowed signs at Sunday’s 2011 NYC Pride March.

Two days after New York’s senate voted 33-29 to legalize gay marriage, the annual parade became the epicenter for the equality celebration, embodying this year’s theme: “Proud and Powerful.”

BBC has more on Governor Andrew Cuomo reactions:

“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.”

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