Special Edition – Pride Parade to put faith at the forefront

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Coming July 2012
Embrace – Chicago’s LGBT Christian Science Group
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Pride Parade to put faith at the forefront

Religious groups given higher priority in this year’s marching order

By Manya A. Brachear, Chicago Tribune reporter

June 24, 2012
Seeking to heal historic rifts between religious congregations and the gay community, organizers of this year’s Pride Parade have moved the faithful closer to the front lines.
More than a dozen religious organizations — Protestant, Jewish and, for the first time, Mormon — will lead the 2012 Pride Parade down its new route Sunday to show onlookers that despite the “love the sinner, hate the sin” approach in some pulpits, many people of faith not only love the gay community, but support whom they love too.
“I felt deeply grateful to be part of something where I felt like I was letting people know in a very public way that they were loved,” said Rabbi Shoshanah Conover of Temple Sholom, about marching alongside a float in the parade last year. “It felt good to me that collectively here we are in this huge parade, all of us together, to show this openness and welcoming. It was truly pride.”
Putting religious groups upfront reminds onlookers that not all religions are the same, Pfeiffer said. Doing so also reinforces the uplifting purpose of the parade, he said, to remind the community that “we’re all God’s children. We all have worth and dignity.”
“Historically the LGBT community has rightly been suspicious of the church and has not always felt welcome,” Reid said. “I’ve noticed over the years what’s really been a shift. People cheer. People yell. It’s very empowering.”
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