Politics Color Pride Parade

By Jenny Berg June 30, 2008, 4:41 PM EDT

Yesterday, Chicago's Gay Pride Paradewhich we ranked as the city's fifth largest parade in our Top 100 Events rundownwas unsubtly influenced by California's recent legalization of gay marriage (check out what L.A. planners had to say about the ruling here). As reported by  The Chicago Tribune, the annual Lakeview parade paid homage to the Golden State with everything from a car plastered with a “thank you, California” sign (a gay couple who had recently married in California drove the car along the parade route) to shouted grateful exclamations from the crowd along the lines of “yeah, California!”

To inspire a similar decision in Chicago, one of the parade's floats was decorated in rainbow-colored umbrellas and covered with signage encouraging bystanders to support House Bill 1826, which, if passed, would allow for civil unions among same-sex couples in Illinois. Local politicians also used the parade as a way to demonstrate support for gay marriage: One float sponsored by state rep Greg Harris and alderman Gene Schulter bore the phrase “Equal Marriage Now.” One Lakeview resident said, “There were so many more political floats than there ever have been at a gay pride parade.”

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