The introduction in New York on Friday of a law giving same-sex couples equal marital rights to everyone else meant the city's famous streets were a frenzy of high spirits and same-sex marriages during this year's Gay Pride parade. The parade began just after noon on Sunday at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue and headed downtown. Parade organisers said half a million people participated. Revellers hoisted signs that read "Thank you, Governor Cuomo" and "Promise kept." The historic bill, signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, takes effect in 30 days and makes New York the sixth US state to extend full marriage rights to homosexual couples.