Colorful floats rolled along Main Street as part of the N.C. Pride 2000 March and Festival. Leaders in the gay community say it is important that their concerns are heard on the state level.
"Most of the real decisions in government that are made and affect this community are made at the state level and not the national level," says N.C. Pride 2000 participant Ian Palmquist. "We think that it is important for people to understand hate crimes, reforming North Carolina's crime against nature law and other issues like that."
N.C. Pride 2000 attracts dozens of groups trying to spread their message of tolerance.
"We find a lot of hardship," says Zabrina Aleguire of the North Carolina Lambda Youth Network. "We try to be at whatever event we can so young people know there's a place to go."
This year's events mark the 15th consecutive year of gay pride celebrations in North Carolina.
Sunday activities included a potluck picnic at Pullen Park in Raleigh and an outreach worship service at Imani MCC of Durham.