Thousands Turn Out for Queens Gay Pride Parade

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It was the usual spectacle: flashy, festive, cultural and colorful. But this years Queens Gay Pride parade had an added attraction: politicians on parade pushing to make New York the 17th state to legalize same sex marriage.

"How do you have a state...where some people...are entitled the protection of marriage and the benefits it brings and others are not," said City Comptroller Bill Thompson.

The assembly passed a same sex marriage bill last month, where Assemblyman Michael Den Dekker was one of its co-sponsors.

"By not voting for this bill you're denying New York residents the right to the same freedoms that people from another state that got married there and moved here later would be entitled to," Den Dekker told PIX News.

Thousands of spectators lined 37th Ave. in Jackson Heights, embracing the music and the message.

"We all need to be equal under the law so that needs to happen," said Queens resident Carlos Macias.

Organizers are hoping the huge turnout will help turnaround lawmakers against same sex marriage.

Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith has said he will not call a vote unless he's assured the measure will pass. There are only nine days of the legislative session left.

"I would say to my colleagues in the state legislature," explained Congressman Anthony Weiner, "History is going to look at this moment and say to anyone who was not supporting this movement 'What were you thinking?'"

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was also part of the crowd.

"I think if you come to this parade, and you see the energy and the support, that you can't not want to vote in support of the community," said Quinn.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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