The main protest was organized by the Gay Liberation Network and the Chicago chapter of Join the Impact, and the feeder march was organized by Equality Illinois and UNITE/HERE.
Here is the text of a flyer distributed by the Gay Liberation Network explaining why Holy Name Cathedral was targeted by the march:
SEPARATE church & state
Don't let religious bigotry be the law of the land
Part of today's action to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act includes a march past Holy Name Cathedral.
Why? Because the Catholic hierarchy, along with Mormon and Protestant evangelical leaders, were major players in promoting California's anti-gay Proposition 8:
** The US Conference of Catholic Bishops kicked in $200,000 to promote anti-gay bigotry
** The Catholic fraternal outfit, Knights of Columbus, contributed a whopping $1.4 million
** Individual California Catholic bishops also anted up additional thousands to strip aay marriage rights from California citizens.
Pouring salt onto the wound, the leader of the California Catholic Conference, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, said he was "extremely pleased" that Proposition 8 passed.
Catholic leaders claim that giving equal marriage rights to Lesbians and Gays would impinge on religious freedom. This is just a bald-faced lie. They know that decades after the liberalization of divorce laws, no one is forcing the Catholic church to violate its ban on remarrying divorcees, and with the legalization of same sex marriage, the government still would not force the church perform any marriages it didn't want to.
Over the years, our local Catholic leadership, and the church leadership internationally, have fought every peice of equal rights legislation that's ever been proposed for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender peole. Just recently, the Pope not on y opposed a French / Dutch proposal for a UN statement for LGBT reights, he signed onto a statement advocating criminalization of homosexuality.
Despite all the church leadership's claims of "protecting the family" and other obfuscations, their opposition to gays boils down to this: bigotry, and a hateful desire to promote discrimination.
Just as fair-minded Californians have had to expsoe the Mormon Church's hate in order to push back against Proposition 8, here in Chicago, it's important to "out" the Catholic hierarchy for its own promotion of hate and discrimination. Only then will we weaken their support from lay people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, and thus weaken their ability to block our civil rights advancement here in Illinois and elsewhere.
Gay Liberation Network, www.GayLiberation.net