CHICAGO (CBS) – A Catholic church in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood is objecting to the proposed new route of the Gay Pride Parade.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel has gathered about 800 signatures, asking the city to reconsider having the parade pass its front doors and starting earlier on the last Sunday of June.
The changes were designed to handle the massive crowds and limit drinking, but Father Thomas Srenn says it will essentially shut down the parish.
He says the combination of the 10 a.m. start and the route moving to Belmont Avenue between Broadway and Halsted Street will make it difficult for parishioners to get through.
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Parade Organizer Rich Pfieffer says the other churches on the route have never complained and the changes should actually make it easier to get in and out, now that Broadway will be open north of Belmont.
Srenn says he’s mailing the petitions to Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), who said in a statement that he’ll continue to work with the parish “on addressing their concerns, while maintaining the parade as a neighborhood celebration of tolerance and diversity.”
Srenn says the parish has a great relationship with the neighborhood and the dispute has nothing to do with celebrating gay pride. Our Lady of Mount Carmel has a Gay and Lesbian outreach mass on Sundays at 7 p.m.
Pfieffer says the city asked for the changes and they are just proposals at this point.
The city does not issue any parade permits until after Jan. 1.