Gay Pride celebrations on the streets of Dublin

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It's been a gay weekend in Ireland with a massive parade in the city center today and the news that the Government will recognize same-sex gay couples.

The legislation falls short of granting the same rights as straight married couples and was derided by many marchers as "half measures."

The annual gay pride march attracted about 12,000 revelers who filled the length of O'Connell Street for a day dedicated to "Pride and Prejudice."

The huge crowds chanted: "What do we want? Marriage. When do we want it? Now."

Married couple Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan wore their wedding dresses from their 2003 Canadian ceremony while several others protested what they say are "half-measures" in the bill by marching in a half-tuxedo or wedding dress.

The marchers included  gay rubgby teams, gay football teams and LGBT groups from as far away as Kerry and Galway.

The new bill will give statutory rights to gay and lesbian couples and will allow same-sex couples to register their civil partnership.

The rights include the protection of a shared home, pension rights, the right to succession and the same treatment as married couples in tax and social welfare.