St. Pete Parade - a party, but also political

The same week that Florida's Attorney General seeks to defend the state's existing ban on gay marriage - a gay rights pride parade marched through St. Petersburg.

Over 100,000 people are estimated to have turned out.

Gay rights supporters made it clear they want equal rights.

It looks like a party, there's a parade and a lot of pride, but - people say this is also political. "I've been marching in prides since the 70's." Keith Collins says a lot has changed since then. He says for one - he's embraced the nickname - Fairy. "I've been doing this since we had to dress conservatively, so we didn't get our butts kicked by the cops, that used to happen. It's a party now because we are so much closer to equal rights."

Voters decided in 2008 to constitutionally ban same sex marriage in Florida.

Church groups drove by shouting "Repent Sinners" from a speaker--clearly showing they are okay with the way the law is.

But, LGBT supporters say they want change, and they want it this election season.

"I'd be happy with civil union, sometimes we in the gay community have fought too hard for the word marriage - I don't need it, just give me a civil union and I'm happy.," said another supporter.

The Event Director says he sees it on the horizon, "The dominoes of inequality are collapsing quickly."

People here, both gay and straight, say beyond the hair, make-up, and outfits at the event - there are hearts.

"I think that's very important, its a personal choice."

"We've been waiting to get married for the last ten years - we could go to another state but whats the point, if its not legally recognized in the state you live in."

Events continue tomorrow.

Sunday, June 29, 2014: St. Pete Pride Festival

11 am-6 pm More than 300 exhibitors, multiple stages, and exhibits including the HCA Hospital Health & Wellness Pavilion and the St Pete Art Mash. Former Motown Records artist and current gospel sensation, Vernessa Mitchell, will headline the free festival.

For a complete schedule of events, including maps of both the parade route and street festival, download the free StPetePride smart phone app at the Apple or Android store or visit <


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