Top LGBT Chicago Stories of 2014

ChicagoPride.com
December 31, 2014

It was an incredible journey of sweeping change as marriage equality became reality in Illinois. Here's a look back at the moments that defined our year in LGBT Chicago.

It was an incredible journey of sweeping change as marriage equality became reality in Illinois. Here's a look back at the moments that defined our year in LGBT Chicago.

Same-sex couples in Cook County didn't have to wait until June to get married under a Feb. 21 ruling issued by U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman. Cook County Clerk David Orr immediately began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. David Wilk and Charlie Gurion (pictured) were the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license in Illinois.

When Illinois' marriage equality law was passed in 2013, lawmakers set June 1, 2014 as the date it would take effect. On that date, all Illinois counties began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In March, Lambda Legal, one of the groups instrumental in the battle for the freedom to marry in Illinois, unveiled marriage victory ads on the CTA Red line.

Gay rights advocates, activists and politicians blasted Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's stance on same-sex marriage as they unveiled a two-story banner that said, "Bruce Rauner on marriage equality: If I were governor, I would veto it." Rauner nevertheless won the general election in November.

More than one million people turned out for the 45th annual Chicago Pride Parade. Illinois' marriage equality victory coupled with the beautiful weather brought out record crowds again in 2014.

First reported by ChicagoPride.com, Spin Nightclub closed in May. The space reopened in June as Chloe's and Whiskey Trust. Chloe's became Manhole in September; however, the fate of the 9,000-square-foot space remains in question after Manhole temporarily closed in December.

Jennifer Hudson performed to a record crowd at the 2014 Chicago Pride Fest. The superstar diva told ChicagoPride.com in an exclusive interview, "It was the gay community that loved me first."

Illinois Republican congressman Aaron Schock locked down his Instagram account in January following speculation that he is gay. Schock has been a vigorous opponent of LGBT rights.

Longtime AIDS and LGBT health advocate David Ernesto Munar was appointed President & CEO of Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) in April. Munar previously served as President and CEO of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC).

Susanne Atanus, who said autism and dementia are punishments from God, narrowly won Illinois' 9th District Republican primary in March. She eventually lost to LGBT ally Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D) in November.

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