Pride parades bring rainbows and rights to cities across country

  • Kent Chua poses for pictures at the start of the Gay Pride Parade in New York, Sunday, June 29, 2014. Fifth Avenue in New York became one big rainbow on Sunday, as thousands of participants waving multicolored flags made their way down the street for New York City’s annual Gay Pride march.
  • Kurt Hipp helps carry a rainbow flag during the San Francisco Gay Pride Festival in California June 29, 2014.
  • Members of cheerleading team CHEER SF soar above Market Street during the San Francisco Gay Pride Festival in California June 29, 2014.
  • Boy Scout Casey Chambers carries a rainbow flag during the San Francisco Gay Pride Festival in California June 29, 2014.
  • Apple employees carry rainbow flags as they march in the San Francisco Gay Pride Festival in California June 29, 2014.
  • Sidney Plummer cheers during the San Francisco Gay Pride Festival in California June 29, 2014.REUTERS/Noah Berger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR3WCZ9
  • John Lucas stands in front of a rainbow flag at the San Francisco Gay Pride Festival in California June 29, 2014. REUTERS/Noah Berger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR3WCVL
  • Revellers from SF Balloon Magic march in the San Francisco Gay Pride Festival in California June 29, 2014.
  • Members of the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Veterans Association march with a big U.S. Flag at the 45th Annual Chicago Pride Parade during the parade on Broadway Street in Chicago, Sunday, June 29, 2014.
  • Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, right, shakes hands with spectators at the 45th Annual Chicago Pride Parade during the parade on Broadway Street in Chicago, Sunday, June 29, 2014.
  • A participant hold flags at the 45th Annual Chicago Pride Parade during the parade on Broadway Street in Chicago, Sunday, June 29, 2014.
  • Charlie Gurion, left, kisses David Wirk at the 45th Annual Chicago Pride Parade during the parade on Broadway Street in Chicago, Sunday, June 29, 2014. The event, the first since Illinois’ law allowing same-sex marriage went into effect, has 200 registered entrants, with about 1 million expected to participate.
  • Participants dressed as flight attendants take part in the annual Gay Pride Parade on Christopher Street in New York, N,Y., June 29, 2014.
  • Dancers perform in the gay pride parade in New York, Sunday, June 29, 2014.
  • Participants march in the annual Gay Pride Parade on Christopher Street in New York, N.Y., June 29, 2014.
  • People wave rainbow colored flags on Fifth Avenue during the 44th annual Gay Pride Parade in New York, N.Y., June 29, 2014.
  • Participants in the Gay Pride Parade prepare to march in New York, N.Y., June 29, 2014.

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Millions of people took to the streets across the country this weekend to champion gay rights, culture, and creative costumes celebrating all of the above.

This year’s attendees have a lot to celebrate: this year has seen judge after judge strike down gay marriage bans in states like Arkansas, Indiana, Utah, and Idaho, giving momentum to the movement and enabling the unions of thousands across the country. 

The parades are scheduled annually to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall riots; this year is the 45th year since patrons of the Stonewall Inn bar violently protested the regular raids that shut down gay bars and arrested patrons. Those protests are largely seen as the mother of the modern gay rights movement.

Here are snapshots from three of the largest parades, in San Francisco, New York, and Chicago.

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