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L.A. Pride parade to be held today

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Thousands are expected to converge in West Hollywood today for the annual L.A. Pride parade, a celebration of the gay and lesbian community.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are scheduled to speak on healthcare issues and the same-sex marriage controversy.

The parade, featuring floats and bands, is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at Santa Monica and Crescent Heights boulevards, then head west on Santa Monica Boulevard to San Vicente Boulevard.

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The parade culminates three days of festivities at West Hollywood Park.

Santa Monica Boulevard between Fairfax Avenue and Doheny Drive will be closed at 6 a.m. today and reopen at 5 p.m., as will Crescent Heights between Romaine Street and Fountain Avenue.

San Vicente will remain closed between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue through Monday at 7 a.m.

This weekend’s celebration commemorates the 1969 Stonewall riots, widely considered the birth of the gay rights movement. The riots erupted when police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, and patrons fought back.

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ron.lin@latimes.com

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