THESSALONIKI (AP): Police say more than 6,000 people have marched through the streets of Greece's second-largest city, Thessaloniki, in its third gay pride parade.

Taking part was Mayor Yiannis Boutaris and the consuls of the United States (US), United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland and Portugal.

US Consul Robert P. Sanders carried a banner that read "Diplomats for Thessaloniki Pride."

The mayor said he and diplomats took part this year "because we support diversity and freedom of choice, both in sex and religion".

The march was again condemned by the local Orthodox church whose leader, Bishop Anthimos, described it as a "promotion of perversion".

Police maintained a heavy presence to deter anti-gay attacks. None occurred.