Thousands of people gathered in downtown Seattle Sunday for the 40th annual gay pride parade. Celebrity Grand Marshall is George Takei of "Star Trek" fame.
Takei waved to the crowd with his husband at his side.
"Well 40 years ago, what seemed unimaginable, today is reality," said Takei. "We look forward to the day - I think this decade - when we will indeed have the United States of America."
Mayor Ed Murray, the city's first openly gay mayor, was the event's community grand marshall.
The event also featured some special guests - the activists who organized the first Seattle Pride Week 40 years ago. The first event dates back to 1974, which was produced with a budget of just $500.
Seattle rapper Macklemore was in the parade as well.
A year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a pair of landmark rulings, one striking down the statute that denied federal recognition to same-sex marriages and the other clearing the way for gay couples to wed legally in California.
In the 12 months since then, the ripple effects of those rulings has transformed the national debate over same-sex marriage, convincing many people on both sides of the contentious issue that its spread nationwide is inevitable.
From the East Coast to the Midwest and the Pacific, seven more states legalized same-sex marriage, boosting the total to 19, plus Washington, D.C. The Obama administration moved vigorously to extend federal benefits to married gay couples. And in 17 consecutive court decisions, federal and state judges have upheld the right of gays to marry. Not a single ruling has gone the other way.
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