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State’s ruling on same-sex marriage barely phases Pride Parade revelers

People arrive East Chicago South Shore statiearly Sunday. | Michelle L. Quinn~for Sun-Times Media

People arrive at the East Chicago South Shore station early Sunday. | Michelle L. Quinn~for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 1, 2014 6:21AM



EAST CHICAGO — The State of Indiana may have acted quickly to execute a stay on same-sex marriage, but hardly a damper was left on many heading to the Chicago Gay Pride Parade Sunday.

They packed the westbound trains early, donning pastel-hued tie-dyes and tutus. Some, like Madison Carnagey and Megan Ray, put brightly colored temporary tattoos and jewels on their faces; while others, like Leah Adams and Melissa Dillingham, looked like any other couple ready to enjoy a day at a park with their kids. But everyone was ready to celebrate one thing and one thing only: Love.

Alexandria Ramo, 18, of East Chicago, has been attending Pride since she was 13. She wore the sky-high, beige heels she wears when performing at drag shows but made sure to have her flats in her bag.

Ramo said she looks forward to Pride, where she can “celebrate with all our people.” While too young to think of marriage, she said she’s not concerned over the stay.

“It’s going to happen sooner or later,” she said.

Joey Garcia, of Crown Point, brought friends Stevie Russell, Shannon Flaherty and Brittany Mendoza to experience their first parade. Normally, the young women have either been working or were too young to go, according to their parents. But this year, they made sure they could go.

“This year is supposed to be the biggest parade ever because same sex marriage is legal in Illinois. They’re expecting 100,000-plus people,” Russell said. “I’m (upset) that they put the stay in, but I am very stoked for the people who got to get married when they could. (The stay) is annoying, but we’ll get there. We got this.

“I love love.”

Dillingham and Adams have been together only eight months, so marriage isn’t on their radar right now. But bringing Dillingham’s family members — Caleb, Brandon, Brittany and Ariana Dillingham; Amanda Moore and Ashley Clark — felt like family nonetheless.

“The first time I went to Pride I went with my sister,” Dillingham said. “You usually can’t get Caleb out of bed, but he was ready today because he likes the parade. He was scared at first, though.”

Carnagey and Ray, of Schererville and Highland, respectively, aren’t gay but have always heard what a blast Pride is. The coworkers decided to make their own rainbow tutus and head on up a week ago.

“Everyone should be equal,” Carnagey said. “We have a lot of friends who are gay, so we want to celebrate them.

“We’ve heard it’s super-fun and that we’re going to see things we’ve never seen before,” Ray added.



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