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More than 1 million people celebrate at Chicago Pride Parade

Marriage equality took center stage at the 45th Annual Chicago Pride Parade

Chicago, IL — More than one million people turned out for the 45th annual Chicago Pride Parade as spectators crowded the streets from Uptown to Boystown to celebrate gay pride from the streets, rooftops and balconies on Sunday.

"Over 1 million people attended today's parade," Chicago Police said in a statement released to ChicagoPride.com. "Despite the large crowd, there were only a handful of issues including eight arrests, one of which was for criminal damage to a police vehicle."

Kristen Linscott posted several photos to Twitter and a video to Telly showing crowds sitting and standing on a squad car with a broken windshield. The video was recorded above Halsted and Aldine Ave in Boystown.

"This is why we hate pride," someone, presumably Linscott, can be heard saying in the video. "People destroy everything."

A second unattended squad car near Halsted and Buckingham was also reportedly damaged. 

The festive four-mile parade, which lasted over three hours, stepped off at noon in Uptown and traveled through Lakeview, Boystown and Lincoln Park. Sunday was the first pride parade since Illinois marriage equality law was enacted statewide on June 1. 

Marriage equality coupled with the beautiful weather brought out record crowds again this year. One million people attended in 2013.

"This is an important day in the history, not only in the state of Illinois, but the entire gay and lesbian movement," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told reporters before the parade. "That obviously we no longer as the state of Illinois have straight marriage and gay marriage, we have marriage."

Marriage was a big part of this year's parade with four couples tying the knot on a float sponsored by Sears.   

Gov. Pat Quinn, who signed the marriage equality bill into law last November, participated in the parade as did several other politicians, including Reps. Mike Quigley and Jan Schakowsky, and Sen. Dick Durbin. State Rep. Greg Harris, who sponsored the marriage equality legislation, marched with state Reps. Kelly Cassidy and Lou Lang, state Sen. Heather Steans, Ald. Deb Mell, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Commissioner Bridget Gainer and Ald. James Cappleman.  

Related: Quigley talks love for LGBT community, marching in Chicago Pride Parade for 32 years

Bruce Rauner, a gubernatorial challenger for Quinn, did not attend due to what a spokesman called a scheduling conflict.

"This parade we celebrate the diversity of our community and we also recognize the heroes and leaders who make our progress possible," Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov told ChicagoPride.com before the parade. "It's important to know that our job is not yet done, and on Election Day we have to re-elect all those who made marriage equality possible."

The annual parade is organized by Richard Pfeiffer of PRIDEChicago. Chicago, Los Angeles and New York were the first marches in 1970, following the 1969 Stonewall Riots. 

Related: History of the Chicago Pride Parade

"It's amazing to see how the parade has grown from a sidewalk march of 150 people in 1970 to the large event that it is now, with more than 200 entries and hundreds of thousands of spectators," Pfeiffer said. "Needless to say, the world has changed dramatically for LGBTs since the first parade 45 years ago, but there is still a long way to go."

A portion of the parade will be broadcast on ABC 7 on Sunday from 11:30 pm to 12:30 am.

Photos: 2014 Chicago Pride Parade 
 
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Posted by Ken Pacione on Sun, 6/29/2014 9:31 PM
Posted by Nycool Yarnall on Sun, 6/29/2014 9:35 PM
Yah! It was super fun!!
Posted by Barbara Broadhurst on Sun, 6/29/2014 9:35 PM
Thts awesome
Posted by Nicole De Leon on Sun, 6/29/2014 9:38 PM
Pure chaos!
Posted by Lisa Ann Daujotas on Mon, 6/30/2014 12:05 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW6Zb6Tz8_s
Posted by Tom Passarelli on Mon, 6/30/2014 4:59 AM
We had a fantastic time at #ChicagoPrideParade
Posted by Dominick Catena-Sommella on Mon, 6/30/2014 7:29 AM
Michel Alcazar Nakad
Posted by Ivan Borges on Mon, 6/30/2014 7:49 AM
I was one of them.. it was a great 2014 pride Chicago!
Posted by Clinton Cornett on Mon, 6/30/2014 8:46 AM
here were my thoughts on my experience... http://jaysoncrady79.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/pride-passing-the-torch/
Posted by Jayson J Crady on Mon, 6/30/2014 10:51 AM
It was packed people were doing the mosh pit.
Posted by Jessica Campos-Zavala on Mon, 6/30/2014 10:51 AM
I had tons of fun for my first pride ever!!!!!! doin it again next year!!!!!!
Posted by babyboy4ever on Mon, 6/30/2014 11:15 AM
Was great to march !
#foreskinpride #gaypride #equalrightsforall
Posted by Robyn Jackson on Mon, 6/30/2014 11:31 AM
I'm all for the Pride parade. Unfortunately, living in the neighborhood for the last four years only makes me think of shame. This event has become an avenue to exploit the plight and struggle of the LGBT community. I try to escape every year even though I would love to stand shoulder to shoulder with those people who have earned the right to say they are proud. Less than two blocks from the police station there is a virtual rave happening. I have no problem with the nudity and public affection, but the amount of drug and alcohol abuse is abhorrent. This has become an excuse for teenagers to gather from across the Midwest and smoke pot and crack, snort coke, inject themselves with various substances and drink to the point of alcohol poisoning. Of course, under the influence of all of these substances it is no wonder the amount of destruction of personal and public property that is left for homeowners to account for. And there is not a police officer in sight. And no city workers are sent to help. And the parade organizers only "clean" Halsted, forgetting that the rest of the neighborhood exists. I cleared off 3 broken bottles of beer, a needle, 2 drug baggies and 2 used condoms from my doorway Monday morning. I stepped through puddles of vomit. I had to weave through strewn garbage. Because the parade was on a moving weekend, again, in a neighborhood with one of the highest tenant turn-over rates in the city, there was furniture and clothing everywhere. There was a couch, stuffed with party remnants and clothes, covered in vomit, moved from the alley to my neighbor's front door. Last year, I found a young girl, naked, covered in vomit, sleeping on a discarded couch under the train. For a parade to celebrate something so beautiful and leave something so ugly behind is unbelievable. I don't understand why the organizers don't realize many people that come to the parade now-a-days are laughing in the face of everything this parade should stand for. I guarantee that if the parade were to be celebrated downtown instead of this densely-populated, residential neighborhood, more care would be taken and there would really be something to be proud of. For now, I will continue to call it the Shame Parade.
Posted by Jay on Mon, 6/30/2014 2:47 PM
A family affair much love
Posted by Montina Morris on Mon, 6/30/2014 6:01 PM
So glad we went it was Amazing!!!
Posted by qbofdamidwest on Mon, 6/30/2014 8:29 PM
Posted by Cortez Young K Burgess on Mon, 6/30/2014 10:06 PM
I have been going to the parade for the past 11 years (a few years I was in the parade), but this year was the worse year at Pride. People being rude as hell, a lot of underage drinking, a lot of drug use, and people passing out not only from the heat but because of too much drinking or other things. Pride is about celebration not making an ass of yourself! I am ashamed of what has become of Pride! This most likely will be the last time I go to Pride!
Posted by Guest on Tue, 7/1/2014 9:34 AM
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