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Online petition calls for ban on politicians in annual Chicago Pride Parade

Parade Organizers: We have no plans to ban politicians

Chicago, IL — A movement to ban politicians from Chicago's annual Pride Parade is gaining traction.

Jane Bryne participated in 1985 parade :: wikipedia
Jane Bryne participated in 1985 parade 
credit :: wikipedia
Curtis Bumgarner of Chicago created an online petition on Change.org shortly after the Illinois House adjourned on Friday without bringing Senate Bill 10, the state's equality bill, up for a vote.

Bumgarner told ChicagoPride.com that if the politicians desire the support of the LGBT community, "they need to show support."

As of Monday afternoon, the petition has 500 signatures.

Comments include this from Brad of Chicago, "Support us and we will support you."

And another from Mark of Chicago, "I find it inconceivable that politicians march in our parade, year after year, trying to garner our votes. But when the time comes that we finally need something from them, they turn our backs on us."

Paul of Rockford offered this suggestion, "If the politicians are not denied, the next best possible demonstration by the community would be for everyone to turn their backs and stand silently as the make their ways through the parade route."

Jane Byrne, mayor of Chicago from 1979-1983, became the first high­-profile politician to participate in the parade on June 30, 1985, according to LGBT writer and historian Sukie de la Croix. As mayor, Byrne declared the first "Gay Pride Parade Day" in 1981.

"People seem to forget the Pride Parade celebrates a riot, an uprising against brutal police, laws, and politicians," said de la Croix.

In the early 1980's, state Rep. Ellis Levin was actually the first politician to participate, according to Richard Pfeiffer, who has been involved with organizing the parade since 1971, its second year of existence.

Pfeiffer and his group, PRIDEChicago, told ChicagoPride.com they have no plans to remove politicians. Pfeiffer confirmed at this time only two House lawmakers, Reps. Greg Harris and Sara Feigenholtz, are registered to participate in this year's parade. Harris was the chief sponsor of SB­10 and has come under sharp criticism from advocacy groups and members of the LGBT community. 

"Parade day should not be a day of division and rancor, but rather one of love, pride and unity," said Pfeiffer. 

He also cited a joint statement issued Monday by Harris and Windy City Times publisher Tracy Baim, who was critical of Harris in an editorial posted Saturday, that said while opinions on strategy and tactics may differ, we can all still be civil and achieve success.

Criticism over politicians in the parade is nothing new. People have complained for years that too many of the politicians, who do not have to pay for entry, are positioned at the front of the parade. Pfeiffer said his group has heard the feedback and noted that in recent years they've started spreading politicians back. 

The 44th annual Chicago Pride Parade is Sunday, June 30, 2013. NFL player and activist Wade Davis was announced as the Grand Marshal last Thursday. 

UPDATE POSTED TUE. JUN 4, 2013 9:30 AM

Curtis Bumgarner, the petition creator, told ChicagoPride.com, "Though parade organizers state that they will not remove politicians from the parade, the petition sends a message to our Illinois LGBTQ political leaders that they can be replaced and we seek new leadership."

As of Tuesday morning, the petition has over 1,000 signatures.

The Gay Liberation Network will address the parade petition and failure of SB-10 during their regular monthly meeting on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Berger Park Cultural Center, corner of Sheridan and Granville Ave.
 
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Curtis Bumgarner I am sure you saw this already but if not nice mention for you and your petition
Posted by rofan21 on Mon, 6/3/2013 7:00 PM
I did not see that... Thank you!!!!
Posted by CPCurtis on Mon, 6/3/2013 7:04 PM
I just don't see this as division. I see it as holding accountability!!!
Posted by CPCurtis on Mon, 6/3/2013 7:06 PM
I like how people demanding accountability and scaring timid leaders are the ones "being divisive" not those who broke their promises and played politics.
Posted by Ryne Patrick on Mon, 6/3/2013 7:06 PM
Thank you
Posted by CPCurtis on Mon, 6/3/2013 7:08 PM
How about a petition to ban the people who go out their and get trashed on alcohol and drugs. A ban on those that act like trash. The politicians that walk in these parades support us. We may not always agree with their choices but they may not agree with the choices of the men in thongs, people getting obliterated and embarrassing the LGBT community.
Posted by Rpkrause on Mon, 6/3/2013 7:13 PM
They want us to include them when they won't include us as equals? BAN THEM FROM OUR PARADE!!!!
Posted by Timothy437 on Mon, 6/3/2013 7:22 PM
If the argument against politicians in the parade is "They dont actually help us anyway", I dont think banning them is going to get them to help us either.
Posted by Kevin Gemini Gotham on Mon, 6/3/2013 7:23 PM
I need to ask this... How many democrats backed out on the vote? Do any of you know who they were? Didn't think so...
Posted by CPCurtis on Mon, 6/3/2013 7:36 PM
They should! That parade is about inclusion, but they do not include us as EQUALS!!! I SAY HELL NO TO POLITICIANS. And if they allow them we should consider boycotting the whole parade!!!!
Posted by Timothy437 on Mon, 6/3/2013 7:39 PM
Of course not... I'm beginning to see people are too complacent when it comes to politics...the petition signatures aren't going to stop... I urge them to read each and every comment on that petition.... It's not about division... It's about accountability
Posted by CPCurtis on Mon, 6/3/2013 7:40 PM
Here's a compromise... MOVE THEM TO BACK OF THE LINE... I hear they get first in line because of their scheduling... You know all that supposed support and work they do... Well if they cared... The schedule should be blocked out for it... Just saying
Posted by CPCurtis on Mon, 6/3/2013 7:42 PM
http://www.change.org/petitions/deny-entry-of-illinois-politicians-in-44th-annual-chicago-pride-parade
Posted by CPCurtis on Mon, 6/3/2013 7:47 PM
Maybe it's time for a march on Washington for a federal vote for marriage equality and let's stop voting into office people whom think of us as less than !!
Posted by Josh T on Mon, 6/3/2013 7:56 PM
All ? NO. there are many heroes who fought for US and continue to do so everyday.
Posted by Mike Hubbard on Mon, 6/3/2013 8:06 PM
I don't know if anything the reps who were fighting hard for us I still have pride in
Posted by Geoff792 on Mon, 6/3/2013 8:16 PM
I feel why are we allowing them to particpate in pride parade when they could not even stand behind our pride, the vote should have been called and we would see who the wolves in sheep clothings truley are.
Posted by glindaboy on Mon, 6/3/2013 9:08 PM
http://my.chicagotribune.com/#story/chi-gay-marriage-pride-parade-20130603/
Posted by CPCurtis on Mon, 6/3/2013 9:36 PM
http://my.chicagotribune.com/#story/chi-gay-marriage-pride-parade-20130603/
Posted by CPCurtis on Mon, 6/3/2013 9:37 PM
Do you seriously think the politicians who would want to march in the parade are the same ones who were hedging or flat out against the marriage vote? We need to support those who support us and punish those who don't. The bill will be introduced again in the fall session. We need to encourage vote for us not act like petulant children who didn't get their way.

Of course Bars, bathhouses, and liquor distributors do more damage to the community but you don't see anyone calling for a ban on those entities.
Posted by tjwdraws on Mon, 6/3/2013 9:45 PM
Thank God the parade organizers, who have been around and know our community's history, know that it is not appropriate to attempt to discriminate against fellow community members who have been fighting the lgbt fight far longer than us from our community celebration. The marriage fight is going much more quickly than most would ever have expected even a year ago. And it is not the only issue our community has faced or will face. We need to take a breath.
Posted by Sean Smith on Mon, 6/3/2013 10:02 PM
We are family...sometimes things just don't happen exactly when we wish but with hard work they WILL happen. Trust those who have worked so hard for us.
Posted by MiGar on Mon, 6/3/2013 10:30 PM
Along with politicians it would be good not to see corporations as well.
Posted by Nima Saint Lux on Tue, 6/4/2013 9:45 AM
As I shared before .... they will get in...BUT they will hear boos like they never heard before.....let ride in their rolls royce that we illinois tax payers rented for them....BUT we get the satisfaction of booing as loud as possible. Can't they get the hint hearing boos for 2 hours !
Posted by Ray Hunsaker on Tue, 6/4/2013 10:01 AM
promise, promise, then they don't deliver!
Posted by Steven Wood on Tue, 6/4/2013 10:39 AM
I agree with one of the comments on the petition-rather than boo, stay silent and show your back as they pass. Match their silence with ours
Posted by Adam Ford on Tue, 6/4/2013 10:47 AM
Ban them!
Posted by Timothy437 on Tue, 6/4/2013 10:52 AM
absolute silence is louder than boos. Imagine it for a moment, you're all clapping and cheering - having a good time, then here comes a politician you are disappointed in - go completely silent - turn your backs to them if you want, but facing them with silence will be far more effective. They get to see all of us, the disappointment in our eyes, don't accept stickers, flyers, or handshakes. Not engaging them hurts and scares them more than booing ever will. Then they get to feel what we have collectively felt as an ignored constituency. The other option is to get the crowd involved in some sort of collective chant. Something that's easy, gets the point across. We have the tools via internet, word of mouth, hell put up flyers in the clubs, ad space in the pages of all relevant gay papers/magazines. There's plenty of time and resources to get the word out to the masses on how we should collectively respond or not respond at all.
Posted by Anastasia Beaverhousen on Tue, 6/4/2013 11:00 AM
Asking drunk gay men to be silent...yeah good luck with that! I think we are all on the same page, we just need to be unified in our actions.
Posted by Chris Hale Gerblick on Tue, 6/4/2013 11:10 AM
It's not about division... It's about accountability... And there's already a divide in the community when it comes to Pride.... This was for taking the parade back.... It's true people forget what the parade stands for
Posted by CPCurtis on Tue, 6/4/2013 12:59 PM
Good decision! Let the crying 2-year-old brats have their tantrum somewhere else - and take their petition and shove it. It is patently ridiculous to exclude all politiicans from the parade. The LGBT politiicians and our many allies alike have been there with us on many issues, and many battles.
Posted by JimPickett on Tue, 6/4/2013 4:28 PM
IMHO, what we SHOULD do is invite all our supporters to attend Pride and feel the love, as well as those on the fence who need some convincing! Win them over!
Posted by Matthew Denckla on Tue, 6/4/2013 5:13 PM
I say Ban them until they can truthfully acknowledge every person or every couple as equal
Posted by Joan Wilburn on Tue, 6/4/2013 6:02 PM
there are only a handful of politicians even attending this year as its not an election years. those who are coming when they arent running for an election, shouldnt be not invited, they should be appauded. I could see if some were attending who dont usually support gay rights, but when they do, whats the point of boycotting people who support u
Posted by Christopher Roberts on Tue, 6/4/2013 10:44 PM
Im disgusted by the idea of banning these people who have been fighting for equality . This is the time to rally and show support of the people who have been fighting for US. The last thing we need to be doing is showing we are not united. The fight s till ongoing. Come together even stronger.
Posted by Mike Hubbard on Tue, 6/4/2013 10:45 PM
I would like to see them all walk together in solidarity of the issue and not campaign individually. Then and only then would I be happy to see them attend. Make a statement, don't pander. Though, without politicians, PRIDE may be over in less than an hour... I know Dick doesn't want that.
Posted by Gregory Hirn on Thu, 6/6/2013 3:00 AM
Oh and I never voted for a drunk guy in a thong, so I am not really too concerned about his choices.
Posted by Gregory Hirn on Thu, 6/6/2013 3:05 AM
Hahahahahaha
Posted by CPCurtis on Thu, 6/6/2013 7:16 AM
As for the parade... Well... After too long of a parade people get too restlest and that's when the rowdy behavior starts
Posted by CPCurtis on Thu, 6/6/2013 7:17 AM
Not to mention the entries into the parade are so limited that the politicians could give the spots to actual LGBT local businesses, organizations or causes
Posted by CPCurtis on Thu, 6/6/2013 7:18 AM
I would suggest placing them in order of their application, like in Palm Springs, not all bunched up at the beginning. However, it might be easier to blast them all into Hell if they are bunched up but perhaps at the end of the parade so those not wanting to see them could go support the bars earlier. ;-)
Posted by ChicCoyote on Thu, 6/6/2013 9:38 PM
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