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Gay pride heats up Cologne

STORY: Thousands of visitors danced and sang their way through the German carnival city with ABBA blasting from every corner.

Serious messages calling for equal rights for the LGBTQ community mixed with vibrant costumes created a party atmosphere.

Cologne police could not give an exact figure for the day's visitors but estimates were around the 1 million.

Christopher Street Day commemorates the riots that broke out in New York in 1969 after police raided a gay bar -- an event seen as a turning point for the gay rights movement. It has been celebrated in Germany since 1979.

On June 25 a gunman went on a rampage at a gay bar in Oslo killing two people and injuring 21 on the day the city was due to celebrate its annual Pride parade.

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