Truce in tiff between gay parade, church

December 22, 2011 9:32:57 AM PST
A compromise agreement was announced Wednesday night between organizers of the annual Gay Pride Parade in Chicago and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church. The start time of the 2012 parade will be later than planned, but apparently the procession route will still go in front of the parish.

A few months ago when an overhaul of next June's event was announced, it included a change in the step-off time to 10am. The routing of the parade was also changed. The adjustments were intended to address what had become a sometimes drunken and unruly crowd along with concerns for safe access to adjacent neighborhoods by emergency vehicles.

As the I-Team first reported three weeks ago, the pastor at Mt. Carmel was concerned that the parade would force his church to close on that Sunday morning due to inaccessibility. He began a petition campaign to force a change in the newly scheduled time and the routing and encouraged parishioners to contact Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Wednesday night, this statement was released by Ald. Thomas Tunney (44th) and the parade chairman Richard Pfeiffer:

"We met with representatives from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church last week to hear the parish's concerns about the proposed changes to the 2012 Gay Pride Parade. We discussed moving the start time back to 12:00 Noon to help accommodate Sunday services along the parade route. After consulting with the various City departments, we believe this is an agreeable compromise to help keep the parade safe and manageable while respecting the diversity of our neighborhood."

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