Thousands of people (WNBC says 500,000!) lined Fifth Avenue and Greenwich Village streets to enjoy this year's Gay Pride Parade, in spite of a bit of rain. In fact, one performer on the "Carnival in Rio" float told the NY Times, "Today is our day. The rain won't stop us. Mother Nature is a drag queen." One of the stars of the parade was Kevin Aviance, the drag queen who was brutally beaten by some teens in the East Village. A parade parade spectator deemed Aviance, who was wearing red high heels, silver shorts, a white jacket, and sparkly silver top hat, "fabulous."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the parade co-Grand Marshal, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, both spoke about gay marriage. The Mayor said that if the Court of Appeals says gay marriage is legal, the city will "start issuing marriage licenses immediately," but if the court rules that it's not allowed via the State Constitution (the Mayor had been saying all along that the city would follow the constitution), he would "go to Albany and lobby." Newsday describes Speaker Quinn has offering "no specific action," simply saying, "What I do know is we have a very active community that's working very hard on this issue, that we will continue to press the issue forward and we will do that with a multi-pronged strategy."

Politicians showed up in full force: Senators Clinton and Schumer, City Comptroller WIlliam Thompson, Attorney General hopefuls Mark Green and Andrew Cuomo, Representative Anthony Weiner, and many other City Council members. And the Empire State Pride Agenda endorsed gubernatorial frontrunner Eliot Spitzer; Spitzer has been a vocal supporter of same sex marriage.

Some awesome Flickr sets of photographs: Boss Tweed, kidflash, sooserious, i copy that.

Photograph of Gay Pride balloons from unstablelandscape and photograph of Speaker Quinn and Senator Clinton from Boss Tweed, both via Flickr