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Pride Parade To Stay In Lakeview; Activist Petitioning For Move Downtown

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Despite some opposition from some members of the community, the annual Pride Parade will stay in the Boystown area of Lakeview this year.

Curtis Bumgarner, who is gay, has more than a passing interest in the Pride Parade. Two years ago, as same-sex legislation stalled in Springfield, he started a petition to ban all politicians from the parade. Most recently, he launched a petition drive to move the parade out of Boystown and into downtown.

"I do understand why people want to keep it there, but I don't understand why they don't want more publicity. Now that we're more mainstream with our community, why not make it bigger in a bigger space?" he said. "For me, it's all about that mainstream. We've been working so hard to be part of the mainstream culture of America. Now we're in it, and now we want to keep it still small: It doesn't make sense to me."

However, a city official told WBBM Newsradio's Steve Miller the Pride Parade will stay in Lakeview.

A resident of Boystown, Bumgarner said he knows bars and other businesses depend on the Pride Parade for a big day of business, but he said the other side of that is what a lot of residents hate: the parade aftermath of intoxicated crowds and rowdiness.

Some have said there's another reason they want to move the Pride Parade out of Boystown.

"We basically parade around the neighborhood on a daily basis, you know what I mean?" Bumgarner said.


Last year, Lakeview Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), who also is gay, conducted an online survey asking whether the parade should be moved out of Lakeview.

While 55 percent of those who responded said the parade should stay in Lakeview, 51 percent of the people who identified themselves as 44th Wrad residents said it should move.

However, 60 percent of people in the ward said there are not enough police in the area after the parade ends. Tunney has said he's working with police and other city departments to come up with changes to improve the parade and post-parade experience.

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