photos by Amanda Hatfield

Gay Pride Parade 2011

Tens of thousands of ecstatic celebrants took to the streets Sunday for New York's Pride March, soaking up an historic equal rights victory.

Floats, politicians and dancers got huge applause all along the parade route.

The real focus was clear: Every time a couple marched past wearing tuxedos and wedding gowns, the packed crowd exploded into cheers, hollers and hoots.

Carrying signs that read "Equality For All Families," "Promise Kept!" and "It Does Get Better NY," partiers embodied this year's parade theme: "Proud and Powerful."

They couldn't stop talking about Friday night's landmark 33-29 state Senate vote to legalize gay nups.

Gov. Cuomo signed gay marriage into law five minutes before midnight Friday - and was treated to a hero's welcome Sunday.

Gay marriage goes into effect in a month, and will make New York the sixth - and most populous - state to legalize same-sex weddings, joining Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa - plus the District of Columbia. [NY Daily News]

More pictures from Sunday's parade (slightly NSFW), below...

Gay Pride Parade 2011

Gay Pride Parade 2011

Gay Pride Parade 2011

Gay Pride Parade 2011

Gay Pride Parade 2011

Gay Pride Parade 2011

Gay Pride Parade 2011

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Gay Pride Parade 2011

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Gay Pride Parade 2011

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Gay Pride Parade 2011

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Gay Pride Parade 2011

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Gay Pride Parade 2011

Gay Pride Parade 2011

Gay Pride Parade 2011

Gay Pride Parade 2011