Seattle’s Space Needle

A number of leading US cities, including New York and San Francisco, celebrated gay Pride this past weekend.

In California, the 40th annual San Francisco Pride celebrations were marred by a shooting incident in front of The Cafe, a popular gay nightclub, that left a 19 year old man dead and two people injured.

It was unclear if the incident, which took place on “Pink Saturday” – the night before the parade, was related to Pride. Police later told AFP: “We have determined that it’s not a hate crime.”

New York City’s 41st annual gay Pride parade saw parishioners from St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church marching while holding up a blank banner. The city’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan had refused to allow a banner with the church’s name to be included in the event.

An estimated one million people took part in the parade as participants, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor David Paterson, or as spectators.

Chicago’s gay Pride parade featured country music star Chely Wright, who recently came out as lesbian, as the grand marshal. She waved to spectators and well-wishers from a white convertible.

For the first time, the Chicago Cubs baseball team took part in the festivities with a float.

In Seattle, history was also made when the city’s iconic 184 metre high Space Needle flew a rainbow flag for the first time.

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