NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio were on hand for New York City’s annual gay pride march Sunday.

Web Extra: Your Photos Of The 2014 Gay Pride Parade

Hundreds of thousands of people lined the parade route when it kicked off at noon, CBS 2 reported.

The parade started at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue and ends at Greenwich and Christopher streets at the Stonewall Inn.

New York marchers were commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots, which are credited with launching the modern gay rights movement in 1969.

This was Sam from New Jersey’s first pride parade. She recently just came out at the age of 19 and admitted it was not easy to tell her parents.

“I never thought it would be — I mean, when I did it wasn’t ‘oh are they gonna hate me.’ I knew they were always going to love me. It’s just the whole saying it; saying it, that’s what makes it difficult. But I knew my parents were always going to be there for me,” she told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck.

Sam’s parents went to the pride parade with their daughter Sunday in a show of support.

“Well it means a lot cause my daughter. I want to support her and her decisions so, it means a lot,” said Sam’s mom, Lisa.

New York City's Gay Pride Parade on June 29, 2014 (Credit: Jim Smith/WCBS 880)

New York City’s Gay Pride Parade on June 29, 2014 (Credit: Jim Smith/WCBS 880)

“There’s colorful colors. There’s beautiful people. I love it out there,” one paradegoer said.

The music was blasting, and there was plenty of singing and dancing as those who attended celebrated their pride, WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported.

“Everybody’s representing gay people. It’s all the same I love it. These are my people,” one person said.

For others it’s a liberating experience. Lola just moved here from Puerto Rico.

“Back home this is not acceptable. I still haven’t come out to my parents. I plan on coming out to them by showing them a picture. I’m gonna send them a picture,” she said.

Some say that’s what this pride march is all about.

“It’s just celebrating gay pride and being out and free.”

New York City's Gay Pride Parade on June 29, 2014 (Credit: Jim Smith/WCBS 880)

New York City’s Gay Pride Parade on June 29, 2014 (Credit: Jim Smith/WCBS 880)

One of this year’s grand marshals was actress Laverne Cox, of the hit show “Orange is the New Black.”

As CBS 2’s Diane Macedo reported, Governor Cuomo took the opportunity to announce a new initiative against HIV and AIDS.

“We have a three part plan that is going to build on everything we’ve done thus far. Number one, a more aggressive testing protocol. Second, to make sure people take medication once they’ve been diagnosed, and third we know what population is at high risk of contracting the disease so we’re going to reach out to them,” he said.

The event came nearly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which had banned the federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

New York City’s parade was just one of many that stepped off around the world Sunday.

Celebrations were also planned in Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, as well as many smaller cities.

Festivals were held Saturday in France, Spain, Mexico and Peru.

The U.S. festivities come amid an eventful year since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the statute that denied federal recognition to same-sex marriages and cleared the way for gay couples to wed legally in California.

Since then, seven more states legalized same-sex marriage, boosting the total to 19, plus Washington, D.C.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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