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Pro-Gay Forces Protest vs Anti-Gay Bigots Invading Halsted Street

July 22, 2006 -- Pro-gay counter-protesters outnumbered anti-gay forces many times over tonight on Halsted Street – the heart of Chicago’s disproportionately gay “Boystown” neighborhood and the site of many LGBT businesses.

The Illinois Family Institute, an anti-gay outfit which recently led a failed effort to get an anti-gay advisory referendum on Illinois’s ballot this fall, used the occasion of the Gay Games to protest against Steamworks, a gay bathhouse in the 3200 block of North Halsted Street.

Vastly outnumbered and given the cold shoulder by most gay and straight passersby, the anti-gay bigots wound up their protest much earlier than planned. Originally the bigots told police they would end their 5:30 PM protest at midnight – we told police we’d end our pro-gay counter-protest when the bigots repented (alas, they didn’t repent, but we outlasted them anyway).

Even a group of Londoners in the for the Games got into the act.

In addition to the Gay Liberation Network, the Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches brought out many of the pro-gay demonstrators.

GLNers Thomas Goree, Bob Schwartz and Glenn Amoroso give the bigots a piece of their minds, plus passerby just picked up signs and joined in the pro-gay protest.

Ever the drama queen, IFI’s Peter LeBarbara brought along an armed bodyguard. The bodyguard said he was an off-duty County Sheriff, and also served as failed Senatorial candidate Alan Keyes’ bodyguard (and we thought Alan had slinked back to Maryland!).


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