Chicago Gay Pride Parade marred by slashed tires on floats, fighting

Posted by JD Uy
June 27, 2011 1:56 AM |

"[It] was about the LGBT community at large. And I think it was a hate crime. I think this will mobilize us to realize there's still homophobia in our communities -- all across Chicago and all across America.''

Steven Sondheimer of the Chicago Housing Authority, which was slated to have a float in the Chicago Pride Parade. It's reported that 51 of the 70 floats were kept in a warehouse with no security, and that someone entered the facility and slashed tires on every float. (WBEZ Chicago)

"We noticed all the floats were leaning to one side. Every single float had a knife hole in (two tires.)"

Chuck Huser, owner of Associated Attractions Enterprises, a company that provides floats for Chicago Pride. (CBS)

Windy City Times, a gay publication for the Chicago area, estimates that "hundreds of thousands" attended the event. Photos show extreme crowding in one area, and WCT reports that fighting broke out at some point, so the parade route had to be diverted.

Still, Chicago's parade seems to have turned out a success. Contingents that could not appear with their float marched the route instead. The city's new Mayor Rahm Emanuel led the parade, greeting the crowd by walking the route and shaking observers' hands.

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