I was there to cover the event. As you might imagine, my feelings were -- shall we say -- mixed. There were at least 1000-1500 people, quite possibly a lot more than that (I'm waiting for official numbers). I was struck by the energy of the crowd as well as the range in age, and thrilled to see all the hand-made signs (most rallies these days depend on hyper-professional and monotonous signage). I couldn't help notice that there was barely a handful of African-American faces in the crowds, but quite a few signs that drew the dividing line between white and black gays.
FOR THE RECORD: Contrary to the urban myth that's being disseminated, marchers did NOT "take over" Michigan Avenue. I was with them on the Mag Mile, and have pictures from that part of the march. Marchers were rigorously monitored and never let off the sidewalk. They even stopped at stop lights. There was no, repeat no, gay takeover of downtown Chicago.
I have to wonder: if this was a rally to end the prison industrial complex or the draconian "sex offender" laws that place unfair burdens on so many, would there be such large crowds? Why weren't there large rallies marching against Proposition 9? Proposition 9, which also made it on the California ballot, has been denounced by several organisations and newspapers as an expensive and needless measure that claims to advance victim's rights while, in fact, increasing the scope of the prison industrial complex.
To see the photos of signs, and many others, go after the jump.