Illinois activists celebrate gay marriage victories during protest at Holy Name

Sun. February 12, 2012 2:47 PM by News Staff

andy thayer of the gay liberation network

photo credit // kevin wayne
Chicago, IL - Gay rights activists and allies braved the bitterly cold temperatures Sunday to protest outside Holy Name Cathedral as part of National Freedom to Marry Day.

"This is not an anti-Catholic demonstration," said Andy Thayer of the Gay Liberation Network (GLN). "This is a demonstration against the Catholic leadership."

About 25 protestors cheered the introduction of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act on Wednesday. The bill provides that all laws of Illinois applicable to marriage apply equally to marriages of same-sex and different-sex couples.

A handful of people countered the pro-gay protesters from the steps of Holy Name Cathedral.

Peter LaBarbera, president of the Naperville-based Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) lead some of the anti-gay chants. LaBarbera's group has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The annual protest, which is timed to coincide with Valentine's Day, was initiated by GLN a decade ago.

Photos: Freedom to Marry protest outside Holy Name Cathedral

Related: LGBTs protest outside Holy Name Cathedral (Windy City Times)