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Gay Pride parades celebrate recent victories (PHOTOS)

Record crowds were expected at this year's parades in US cities like New York, San Francisco and Seattle.

Large and enthusiastic crowds turned out for this weekend’s gay pride parades, held in cities around the world, reflecting that fact that gay rights advocates have racked up a striking number of victories over the past year.

London’s Gay Pride parade on Saturday drew about half a million revelers just weeks after parliament passed legislation that will allow gay people to get married, not just enter into civil unions. "By making this change…parliament believes their love is the same as anyone else's love and that we believe in equality," Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron wrote in the official guide to the event, Reuters reported.

In Paris, marchers celebrated last month’s legalization of same-sex marriage in France.

And in the United States, record crowds were expected at Sunday parades given that the US Supreme Court recently struck down the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act and restored same-sex marriages in California.

This year’s grand marshal for the New York parade is Edith Windsor, the 84-year-old widow who challenged DOMA after she was forced to pay $363,053 on her late wife’s estate, according to New York Newsday.

In San Francisco, the four plaintiffs in the case that ended California’s gay marriage ban – newlyweds Kris Perry and Sandy Stier of Berkeley and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo of Burbank – were scheduled to ride in a float organized by the city attorney, Reuters reported.

Unfortunately, not all of this weekend’s marches have been celebratory. In Russia, police detained dozens of people who demonstrated against new anti-gay legislation in Saint Petersburg on Saturday, the Guardian reported. "We staged the rally to support our rights and express our protest against the homophobic law," gay activist Natalya Tsymbalova told Reuters, according to the Guardian.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130630/gay-pride-parades-celebrate-recent-victories