'Million' take part in London's Pride celebrations

An estimated one million people in London have turned out for the annual Pride celebrations.

The event, which celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture, is one of the largest of its kind in the world.

This year it celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Gay Liberation Front, a pressure group which organised the city's first Pride parade.

The parade, in ideal weather, went from Baker Street to Trafalgar Square.

Entertainment was provided en route by a variety of DJs, dance, comedy and music acts while a street party was held in Soho.

Among those attending the event on Saturday was the Liberal Democrat equality minister Lynne Featherstone, who earlier this week disclosed that the government was considering allowing same-sex couples to include hymn singing and religious readings in civil partnership ceremonies.

2012 badges

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, also attended, as did the openly gay Conservative policing minister Nick Herbert

Mr Johnson said: "The streets of London are thronged with people from all walks of life taking part in one of the most highly anticipated events of the year.

"I am pleased to support our city's Pride celebrations and proud of London's reputation as a place where you can be yourself."

London 2012 staff sold special badges at the celebrations, aimed at the gay community.

Chief Executive Paul Deighton said the badge - which features the rainbow flag and the London 2012 logo and is the first to be launched in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community - fitted in with the organisation's aim to reach out to different communities.

London 2012 organisers, who want to bill the event as "everyone's Games", plan to market further pin badges over the next year based around the issues of belief, age, disability, gender and ethnicity.

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