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Pride Week Has Special Significance With Same-Sex Marriage Rulings Looming

By DNAinfo Staff on June 24, 2013 7:10am

 Sometime during the 44th Annual Chicago Pride Week, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce its rulings on two cases related to same-sex marriage. Pride Week kicked off with Pride Fest.
Pride Week
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BOYSTOWN — Sometime during the 44th annual Chicago Pride Week, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce its rulings on two cases related to same-sex marriage.

The timing of the historic announcement will help shape the tone of this year's edition of the city's biggest LGBT-related festivities, which include this past weekend's Pride Fest and the Pride Parade on Sunday. 

On whatever day the Supreme Court announces its rulings on the cases, same-sex marriage proponents are planning to gather at the corner of Halsted and Roscoe streets at 7 p.m. either in celebration or disappointment.

"We'll either be here together cheering or we'll be here to keep fighting," said Debrah Goodman, 53, of Andersonville. "I want to marry a partner someday. It matters to me. It matters to everyone in the LGBTQ community."

Last year, an estimated 850,000 people turned out for the Pride Parade. Pending weather and other factors, parade coordinator Richard Pfeiffer expects about the same this year.

"The parade every year is a little bit political and a little bit social," parade coordinator Richard Pfeiffer said. "We expect more signage in the parade this year."

About two dozen of the 204 groups expected to march in the parade are elected officials. Most of those officials represent voters at the federal or city level and have supported LGBT rights and the city's gay community for years, Pfeiffer said.

"There were some people who wanted to keep out all elected officials" because the Illinois General Assembly failed to vote on same-sex marriage in May, Pfeiffer said. "But [the elected officials] are people who support us."

The U.S. Supreme Court will rule on two separate cases: California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the nation's most populous state, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which has barred same-sex couples from receiving the same federal benefits available to married opposite-sex couples.

As the Supreme Court can rule in several possible ways, those who attended Pride Fest said it was important being around people who had like-minded values.

"It's really important that we are here together with others who believe in the same thing and are willing to fight for such an important issue," said Katy Samson, a 21-year-old Uptown resident who attended Pride Fest on Sunday.