Chicago celebrates same-sex marriage at Pride Parade - New York News

Chicago celebrates same-sex marriage at Pride Parade

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CHICAGO (Associated Press) -

Around 1 million people turned out at this year's Gay Pride Parade in Chicago - the first since the state of Illinois' same-sex marriage law went into effect.

The parade kicked off at 12 p.m. on Sunday in the city's Boystown neighborhood. It's the 45th annual parade. Attendance has jumped by a third in recent years, from about 750,000 participants in 2011 to Chicago police estimates of nearly 1 million last year.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn attended the Gay Pride Parade in Chicago, lauding the state's same-sex marriage law that he signed last November.

Quinn said at the Sunday parade that he was proud to lobby for same-sex marriage and sign the measure. 

The Democratic governor faces a re-election bid against GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur), who has said voters should have decided whether to allow gay marriage. The Winnetka businessman says now that gay marriage is law he won't advocate repealing it unless voters say they want it changed in a referendum.

Quinn says he doesn't "need a referendum to tell me what the right thing to do is."

In the U.S., celebrations were planned Sunday from coast to coast: in New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, as well as many smaller cities. Festivals were held Saturday in France, Spain, Mexico and Peru.

New York marchers commemorated the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots, which are credited with launching the modern gay rights movement in 1969. San Francisco's event is in its 44th year.

The U.S. festivities come amid an eventful year since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the statute that denied federal recognition to same-sex marriages and cleared the way for gay couples to wed legally in California. Since then, seven more states legalized same-sex marriage, boosting the total to 19, plus Washington, D.C.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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