CHICAGO (CBS) –Over one million people attended Sunday’s Chicago Pride Parade, according to an estimate from Chicago Police.
It was the city’s first Pride Parade since same-sex marriage was legalized in Illinois.
“After decades of fighting for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, we have made some gains along the way but this year we’re celebrating also the fact that our state and our federal government is recognizing the fact that our love, the most fundamental element of our being, is also equal and now going to be equal under the law,” said Bernard Cherkasov, the chief executive officer for Equality Illinois.
Marge Summit is happy to celebrate this year’s pride parade for the first time as a married woman in Illinois.
“It’s better than you can imagine, never thought it would happen in my lifetime,” said Summit.
The huge number of spectators had the CTA adding extra service and longer trains to help people get to and from the parade.
The parade kicked off at noon at Montrose and Broadway and ended at Diversey and Sheridan. Police say that eight people were arrested at the parade.
Like most parades in Chicago, there was a political edge to it.
The LGBT community was taking full advantage of the day to denounce the candidacy of Republican Bruce Rauner for governor while Governor Pat Quinn walked the parade route.
The governor was received warmly by the crowd and told them he thought signing the same-sex marriage bill into law was one of the most important things he has done as governor.
Bruce Rauner was not at the parade and instead he joined his running mate Evelyn Sanguinetti and announced the launch of “Amigos De Rauner- Sanguinetti.”
To help ease the congestion, the Cubs took a rare Sunday off. The CTA suggested train riders avoid Belmont and instead get off at the Brown Line Wellington or Diversey stops or the Red Line Wilson, Sheridan or Addison stations to avoid the most crowded areas.
The Pride Parade was part of what might be the busiest weekend in Chicago this summer, with Old St. Pat’s hosting the “World’s Largest Block Party,” Gospel Fest taking place and a triathlon.