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Jun 27, 2015 8:42 PM

Thousands attend first Portsmouth Pride parade


PORTSMOUTH - Thousands of people attended the City of Portsmouth's "Pride Parade", which featured hundreds dressed in various colors of the rainbow and joining together in Market Square.

The historic day came just one day after the Supreme Court decision ruled same-sex marriage a constitutional right.

"This is truly an amazing event," said Mayor Bob Lister, who called the parade a "celebration of acceptance."

Attendees danced together to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” while dressed in rainbow colors that symbolized a unity.

“It’s very exciting to be able to join with everybody and celebrate what has happened," said Diane Stradling, who was joyful following the ruling. “Families are families no matter who is the mama or the papa, or the mama-mamas or papa-papas."

The parade was the first of its kind for the Port City. It included music, messages and couples of men and women in love.

“If we keep fighting like we have, we are always going to win," Asst. Mayor Jim Splaine told the crowd.

Splaine was a sponsor of legislation that passed in 2009, allowing gays and lesbians to get married under NH state law - the fifth state to pass such a bill.

Today's parade was formed by groups wearing different colors of the rainbow.

“It was just really amazing the way they orchestrated it, with all the people split up into different groups," said Jeffrey Allen. "It’s been a long time coming, so it’s just kind of reached that momentum. It’s been really wonderful that it finally happened.”

Dozens of families attended the parade as well. Many were amazed to see the high spirit in the middle of the city.

“Everyone in the United States gets the same rights as we’ve had in New Hampshire for the last 5 years," said Melissa Clark. "And [I'm] happy to be here and celebrate with my family."

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