Atheists Gather for Chicago Gay Pride Parade June 22, 2011

Atheists Gather for Chicago Gay Pride Parade

To anyone in Chicago who might be attending Sunday’s Gay Pride Parade in Boystown, consider meeting up with a group of atheists who are already going to be there! All the information is here.

Wear your favorite godless shirt, brings signs of support, and be sure to ask the Christians holding “I’m sorry” signs whether they think homosexuality is immoral 🙂

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  • Michelle

    I’m glad there will be some visible support by the Atheist community. Wish I could be there, my son would love to meet you, but the parade proves too long for him. (we’ve tried it) On a side note, he did name his new stuffed tiger Equality because he wants equal marriage rights. One small step for ‘liberal’ parenting, hoping for giant steps for the future.

  • WebHybrid

    Anybody know of a similar group or quasi-group attending the Pride Festival in San Francisco? Personally I find parades off-putting, but do enjoy the huge festival afterwards – go figyah. So if some atheists have a booth there, maybe I could find it amid the masses (pardon the expression).

  • Alex

    Not a bad idea, actually. I might bring up the idea with Cincinnati Skeptics next year, though it’s a hopeful turn that we have so many churches (and a legit Asian community Buddhist temple) marching in ours.

  • WebHybrid, here’s the meetup page for the atheist contingent at San Francisco’s Pride Parade. Hope to see you there!

  • downtown dave

    I don’t understand why the homosexual or the atheist community would have to ask others a question they already know the answer to.

  • David

    Thank you, Hemant, Webhybrid and aynsavoy:
    I was going to the SF Pride anyway, but now
    I’ll be part of the atheist contingent.

    Oh… I need to make a sign…

  • I’m halfway round the world so I shan’t be attending but please post pictures of the event.

  • Claudia

    @downtown dave you will not win converts in that way because you fundamentally do not understand that being an atheist is not “turning away from god” or “being afraid of god” or “being angry at god”. An atheist can’t have those feelings because we don’t think god is real. Your assurances that “don’t worry, God really does love you” are sweet and all, but in the end as ineffective as the threat of hellfire (though as a tactic it’s much nicer), because to us you are discussing the love of a fictional character. You might as well have said “Don’t worry, Harry Potter loves you”. Doesn’t make you believe he’s real, does it?

    Oh and the notion that just BEING gay is turning away from god is frankly, disgusting. You are telling people that a fundamental, unchangable part of who they are is an automatic rejection of your god. That they can be with god, but only through the (ultimately doomed to failure) rejection of who they really are. Yeah, thanks but no thanks. GLBT people are demonstrably real. Your god is not.

  • @Claudia:

    Many ♥♥♥♥ for you. That was a brilliant post.

  • Marguerite

    I agree, Claudia, nicely done. You’re kinder than I could be. The idea that atheists are nonbelievers because on some level they’re afraid of hell is one of the silliest (and most condescending) notions Christians have come up with. If they’d just turn it around, they’d see how silly it is. Have Christians turned their back on Zeus because they’re afraid of the awful half-life that awaits them in Hades? Not at all– in fact, virtually all of them would laugh at the idea that Zeus or Hades exist. It’s the same with atheists… you can’t be afraid of something that just isn’t there. Nor can you be angry with a nonexistent entity.

  • WebHybrid

    Thanks for the heads-up, aynsavoy. I’ll be looking for that bunch on Sunday. Long shot, but I’ve placed a foto of me in the Meetup site, here

  • Dark Jaguar

    Oh hey I know those guys in the photo. They’re famous. I never can make out their faces but that head-not-attached-to-body thing stands out in a crowd.

    Nicely put Claudia. I’d add one thing. I wouldn’t care if it did turn out that sexuality was alterable through some regime of mental conditioning or another (that may potentially be true, especially in some distant cyborg future), or even if we lived in a world where it really was a free choice as easy as deciding what to have for lunch.

    I wouldn’t care because to me that’s not even what’s important. What’s important is that no one is being hurt by it at all. Even in some ridiculous hypothetical world of “nothing but gay people”, our species would do just fine because people tend to recognize their own extinction pretty easily and would take the needed actions to prevent it. (Not that this hypothetical is even worth taking seriously.) If it doesn’t hurt anyone, even in the greatest hypothetical, then there’s no legitimate argument for it being “wrong”, or for laws to ban it. That, and that alone, is really the only argument we need.

  • in my queer circles everyone is an atheist or agnostic, with a couple of light Wiccians thrown in. it really seems pretty de rigueur for those of us who like to claim the “Fabulous” label and work the Scene. sure, there are plenty of believing queers and lots of them will be at the parade too, but it’s virtually indistinguishable, the comments i read here and that i read at a popular gay blog, when religion comes up as a topic. i think there are lots, and lots of queers, men in particular, from fundamentalist families for whom coming out was a dual process. they rejected faith because faith was the main thing forcing them in the closet sexuality-wise. i know a lot of guys like that.

  • Leeloo

    I will actually be in Chicago that weekend with my husband. We are attending a conference and fund-raising dinner. Unfortunately we have to catch a plane on Sunday by 11AM. I wanted to go to Pride here in my hometown too (my best friend is gay and lost his partner of 8 years just 2 months ago), but I was again, out of town for a conference.

    I hope you and everyone attending has a great time, and my heart is so happy to see so many of you likewise standing up for a group who needs a terrible amount of

  • Leeloo

    OK, so I’m silly, and my local Pride is this weekend on Saturday! Either way I will be missing both!

  • Jasel

    Would have loved to go but I have to work this Sunday. Sucks too because my friend lives half a block away from Broadway where I guess the parade is going through. He said they already have flags lining the streets. Oh well maybe next year if I’m lucky.

  • Claudia

    @Dark Jaguar I agree, to me it would make no difference whether it was a choice or (as indicated by current science) a biological trait. If it’s not harmful, it’s not bad. However the matter of it being biological is important when speaking to the religious because the entire weight of their argument is that being gay is a sin, and a sin is a choice. If you can’t choose to be gay then keeping homosexuality as a sin would be akin to making being female a sin (something that the church has come pretty damn near close to doing, more than once). Since homosexuality being a choice is demonstrably false (wheras “it does no harm” is also true but less cut and dried science) it’s an argument that has to be made.

  • I think its interesting. LGBTQ stuff was something I have been been studying on my own. So I mentioned it at group meetings. And I got a similar response most of the time. “I support the gays doing what they do, but don’t feel comfortable talking about it.”

    I understand why this is there still a lot of discomfort with things outside of our norm. I figured one of the ways to shake this up for the atheist community is to bring them up close and personal, and see that its not so disconcerting, its just colorful and flamboyant.

    I think its a secular issue for sure.

    I was arguing with someone right off the bat when I posted the event. An Lesbian woman was arguing that atheist’s going to the Pride parade was trying to ‘piggy back off pride’ as a shameless self promotion, and that the LGBT community had mixed feelings about religion, and she was disconcerted about our motivations.

    What I told her and I quote (myself): “Well how about this, we will support gay pride, even if they don’t like us supporting gay pride.”

  • BornAthiest

    Toronto Ontario Canada has a Gay Pride parade every year on Canada Day Weekend.

    The Mayor of the city is not going because every year, on the same weekend, he takes his family to the cottage.

    They say he is anti-gay because he won’t march with them like every other Mayor has. I find this extremely interesting because it some places in the States, and Canada, if an elected official was to march in support of Gay Pride they would be ostracized publicly. This mayor is being criticized because he loves his family and isn’t marching because he has a standing prior commitment.

    Since when is family devotion anti-gay?

    Something is off with this… I’m all for gay pride, but leave the poor guy alone and let him choose where to be when.

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