Pride!

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I have always been and will always be a supporter of gay rights. It sounds bizarre for me to even have to say that — DUH, yes I think that homosexuals, who are as human as the next guy, deserve the same rights that I do as well as the same rights as my neighbor. Ugh, I even hate that I have to put it that way “…homosexuals deserve….” No, HUMANS deserve. Their sexual orientation should NOT factor into the rights that they are granted. Who they fall in love with, sleep with, are attracted to, hold hands with, etc. are none of anyone’s business. If Bill Clinton can have an affair and remain President, if Britney Spears can be married for 55 hours and then disregard her vows and annul the marriage, and if Kim Kardashian can be married for only 72 days and turn her pre/post wedding life into a reality TV show, then why the hell can’t same sex couples exist with the same damn rights?

Today I had the great pleasure of being one of the nearly 1 million spectators of the 2012 Chicago Pride Parade. Words cannot describe how amazing it was to see tens of thousands of people march for 4 hours — yes, it was a 4 hour parade — with so much energy, confidence, and pride. Watching the LGBTQ community and it’s allies share today was very powerful and it showed what community and togetherness can really accomplish. I could not help but think of how far we have come. Still, there were anti-gay protestors throughout the parade route and the Huffington Post covered a story today from Moline, IL where a lesbian couple wanted to use a historic banquet hall as their wedding venue and the manager told them they could not

“Because marriage is a covenant that God created for man and woman, then, as a biblical Christian, I cannot help them enter into or celebrate that sin.”

It really breaks my heart that religion  is the primary institution preventing people from obtaining and exercising their rights. The rights that they deserve. It also breaks my heart that IL only recognizes Civil Unions — yes, I know it’s a big deal that we even do that and I appreciate that — but Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Patrick Quinn marched closely to each other starting off today’s parade. Rahm even looked up at us in our apartment and shot us a peace sign (see photo below). Quinn held signs boasting his leadership as Governor. They had smiles on their faces. Rahm ran over to the spectators and hugged a few women cheering his name. He even fist pumped as he rounded the corner of Belmont and Broadway as if to say “HELL YA I am an ally of the LGBTQ community,” which don’t get me wrong he probably is — for the most part. But he is co-existing in a political world where we cannot universally accept and grant all rights to all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. Quinn has only legalized civil unions. The sign in the photo below really describes it best — separate is, in fact, NOT equal. I hope the passion, confidence, and pride that echoes the streets to this very minute replay in Quinn & Rahm’s heads tonight and for days to come so that they work together to support all rights for all people in Chicago and the state of IL.

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