AURORA, Ill. (WLS) -- The City of Aurora has revoked a special permit for the 2022 Aurora Pride Parade due to security staffing concerns.
The city claims organizers failed to retain the number of law enforcement officers for the parade. Since it's a private event, the city said officers have to volunteer their time to work security.
Last month, parade organizers sparked controversy when they announced they would not allow police officers to march in the parade in full uniform or bring police vehicles.
Aurora Pride responded today in a written statement: "We have not been able to close the gap, despite the tireless efforts of our Safety team lead and many supporters offering their assistance. As a result, our permit is now revoked. However, we're not giving up. Our position has been misrepresented, and we're making every effort to keep the parade as scheduled."
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Aurora Pride is appealing the city's decision. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday and activist organizations are calling on the community to show up in person to support the parade.
Local artist Joseph Gagnepain spent a week drafting and creating a piece of art specifically commissioned for the parade.
"It's about love, it's about acceptance, compassion for other people," he said.
Indivisible Aurora is working to gather support for parade organizers at the appeal hearing, hoping that love will prevail once again. Businesses throughout downtown are also showing their pride for Pride.
The city said APD was able to retain 70 percent of the security staff needed, but police officials said two days ago parade organizers said they still needed 20 more officers.
If it happens, Anne Hauge is planning to participate with colleagues at the Paramount Theatre.
"It is really nice to me that there is a pride parade, that we can be out and loud and proud and queer," Hauge said.
Some restaurant and shop owners in downtown Aurora are planning to increase their staffing for the pride parade. But now they're playing it by ear as organizers scramble to find a way to keep the parade as scheduled.
Tecalitlan Restaurant's owner Marissa Valencia is a supporter of the LGBTQ community. The restaurant is decorated in honor of Pride Month.
"Just so they know that we support them and we are here from them," Valencia said.
She said parade spectators usually stop in to grab food.
"We have extra help because it gets a little crazy for orders to go," Valencia said. "So we try to bring somebody else to help us take orders to go."