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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 June 2006, 00:06 GMT 01:06 UK
Thousands attend Paris gay pride
A man painted in rainbow colours at the march
Participants called for more rights for gay people
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in the annual gay pride march across Paris.

This year's parade, the last before presidential and legislative elections next year, conveyed a political theme.

Marchers called for greater equality, the legalisation of same sex civil marriages and the right for homosexual couples to adopt children.

A number of politicians also turned out which analysts described as an attempt to broaden their electoral appeal.

Among those attending were the Socialist Party leader Francois Hollande and the mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe.

Activists carried a banner which read "For Equality in 2007".

Countries such as Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain already grant gay couples the same rights as married couples.

The march started in the south of the city and ended in the Place de la Bastille.

Organisers said that more than 800,000 people attended, but police could not confirm the number.

A three-minute silence was also held to remember those who had died from Aids.

Gay pride marches also took place in Portugal, Italy, Greece and Croatia.

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