Filipino float wins gay parade highest honor, Illinois fights for gay marriage

By Don Tagala, ABS CBN North America Bureau

July 3, 2013

CHICAGO – For the members of the award-winning “Filipinos and Friends in Chicago” or “FINC” float, Chicago’s Pride Parade 2013 was a bittersweet celebration.

Their float called “Fiesta: 365 Days of Out and Proud” won the Best All Around Float, the highest parade award given by the Chicago Pride 2013 organizers for their beautiful costumes and great presentation.

“It feels very good, the good thing about Chicago is the Filipino Community here in Chicago is amazing, we actually have dancers, we actually have models, this is really a collaborative effort of everyone,” FINC member Ally Castle said.

At least a million people came out to celebrate pride and equality last Sunday following the historic court decision that granted federal benefits to same sex couples.

But for gay couple Chip Payos and Gordon Hannon, the court rulings last week may just be the beginning, as the fight to legalize same-sex marriage in many states like Illinois is not over.

“The fight for marriage is our stonewall that we have to pick up the fight, it’s not over yet, it’s far from over, we only have 13 States approved for same-sex marriage, if we have to work it slowly, we’ll do it and we’ll fight,” FINC choreographer Chip Payos said.

Illinois is considered the next battleground to legalize same-sex marriage.

On Valentine’s Day, the Illinois senate passed a bill making way for same-sex marriage to be legal in the Land of Lincoln and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn promised to sign it if it comes to his desk, but the bill took a backseat when the State House of Representatives’ regular session ended without voting on the matter.

“My partner and I would talk about marriage, but since it’s not approved yet in Illinois, it’s almost like a moot point to talk about, we know we’re in a committed relationship, that’s fine for us right now but we need the rights,” Payos said.

But with DOMA and PROP 8 struck down, same-sex marriage advocates say, equality will now take center stage on a local level because it was clear from the Supreme Court’s decision that the definition of marriage is up to the states.

Illinoisans are now hoping for legislative victories this fall or next spring that would make Illinois the next state to authorize gay marriage.

You may contact Don Tagala at

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    6 July 2013 at 5:15 am - Reply

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