Many of the active-duty troops said they were moved to come out because it is time to end the military’s ban on openly gay troops…
National Guard member Nichole Herrera, 31, said she didn’t think twice about marching, even though the policy is back on the books. She said she was “choked up” several times as she walked down a main thoroughfare in San Diego, a major Navy port.
“This is one of the proudest days in my life. It’s time for it (the policy) to be gone,” Herrera said. “I’m a soldier no matter what, regardless of my sexual orientation.”
Every branch of service was represented Saturday, including the Coast Guard. Marines and sailors ran out carrying their branch’s flags over their heads.
The morning started out with a bad omen for Chicago Pride with the discovery that overnight over 30 of the floats scheduled for today’s Gay Pride Parade were slashed in what can only be described as a hate crime.
Chuck Huser, owner of long-time Pride float provider Assocated Attractions at 4834 S. Halsted on Chicago’s South Side, said the floats were fine when he left 8 p.m. Saturday night, but when he returned 5 a.m. Sunday to start preparation for drivers to depart, he found two tires punctured each on more than 30 floats. “This is catastrophic,” he told Windy City Times at 8 a.m. June 26. “This has never happened before, and we have been doing this since 1989.” The attackers broken in but did no other damage to the floats, and they took nothing else, leaving Huser to believe this had to be a hate crime. No notes were left. Huser has filed a police report, but his main focus the morning of the Pride Parade was finding an open tire shop, where they were running back and forth to repair the tires.
Troubles at Chicago Pride also happened later in the day when hundreds of thousands of people converged on Halsted, Broadway penned in by police barricades.
The parade was also cut short and diverted by police after fighting broke out on Belmont with Floats and marchers forced to go south on Clark Street, cutting off miles from the normal route there were few police on hand to control the crowds. Most streets were just full of pedestrians, with no way for normal traffic to get through.
At one point along Halsted, spectators were jumping an 8-foot chain link fence to get out of suffocating crowds caught between the fence and the barricades.
After a huge public outcry and threats of a lawsuit Officer Andrew Johnson, a California corrections officer will now be allowed to wear his uniform in the famous West Hollywood Gay Pride Parade.
Johnson who was originally told by his superiors at the women’s jail in Chino, Calif., that wearing his uniform in the parade would breach a regulations could “discredit” the department went public with the story yesterday and hired famed civil rights lawyer Gloria Alred to take on the case as charges were files with California State Authorities yesterday.
“It’s important to him because he’s not ashamed of being gay,” said Gloria Allred. “He just wants to be treated equally. It’s just really about equality.”
Now, less than 24 hours later the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has rescinded its refusal to allow making way for Johnson to march proudly in uniform.
“The decision was made solely on an interpretation of an admittedly ambiguous section of the Department Operation Manual as it relates to unauthorized use of the CDCR uniform. Upon review, CDCR acknowledges that the DOM is outdated and requires careful revision. CDCR apologizes to Officer Johnson and any Californian who may have been offended by the original decision.”
The country of Serbia, which borders Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east is planning to hold it’s first gay pride march in nearly a decade next month — after the one last year was canceled amid threats of violence by extremists.
Serbia. Extremists broke up the Balkan nation’s first gay pride march in 2001 and beat up several participants. No gay pride marches have been held since then.
Last year, another prade was planned despite anti-gay graffiti all over Belgrade warning gays to stay away, police said they would protect marchers, but the Serbian Goverment cancelled the prade at the last minute due to the extremely violent nature of the threats that had been wielded against marchers stating the risk of excessive attacks on the rally is too great for police to guarantee safety for everyone involved
This year Serbia is ready to try again.
Police say the teenager was shot when the gangs got into a confrontation late Saturday as they headed to the parade attended by nearly 70,000 people in Juiz de Fora. Police detained 17 youngsters, including a man suspected of firing the shots that killed the teenager. Their ages were not immediately released.