SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -

Saturday marked Santa Cruz's 40th annual pride parade and this year had a whole new meaning.

It's been almost a year that lesbian and gay couples in California have had the right to marry. In late June of last year., the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to take the Proposition 8 case, upholding a lower court ruling.

"It actually strengthens the institution of marriage by letting more people get married," said Santa Cruz's American Civil Liberties Union Chair Peter Gelblum.

His organization was a part of the team representing the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which also was overturned at the same time. The Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional.

"We've reached the top of the mountain and it's going to be legal for every year in California," Gelblum said.

This year, the parade featured more than 1,000 people involved, which is a huge step up from last year and organizers said that it had a lot do with the fact that the LGBT community in California is much more accepted.

According to a May Gallup poll, 55 percent of Americans support gay marriage, the highest it's ever been.