City reinstates Aurora Pride Parade permit, parade is on for Sunday

Aurora, Illinois

The city of Aurora has reinstated Aurora Pride’s parade permit, clearing the way for this Sunday’s parade.

The city told Aurora Pride the permit was reinstated on Thursday afternoon after a hearing officer denied the group’s appeal. The ACLU of Illinois was preparing to file in federal court to reinstate the permit.

“We’re very pleased that this situation has been resolved and can’t wait to see everyone Sunday!” said Gwyn Ciesla, president of Aurora Pride.

“We are pleased that Aurora City officials have relented, reinstating the permit to Aurora Pride and allowing the Pride Parade to go forward this weekend,” the ACLU of Illinois said in a statement. “It is good that we have avoided the necessity for emergency litigation and that families and residents from across Aurora will be able to enjoy this event.”

The parade permit was put at risk on Monday when the Aurora Police Department told parade organizers that not enough police had volunteered to work security and gave them less than two days to find more than 20 off-duty officers from surrounding areas. Aurora Pride was unable to in the short period of time and the permit was revoked on Wednesday.

Aurora Pride appealed the revocation and was denied by a city hearing officer. The reversal came after the ACLU announced they were filing in federal court.

Aurora Pride had been working with the city and police department since January 2022 on the parade. However, security staffing became an issue after parade organizers asked for police marching in the parade not to wear full uniforms with weapons or drive police vehicles. Aurora officers participating in the parade would still wear police t-shirts and polo shirts, carry signs and banners and have a float. Officers patrolling the parade route for security would be in full uniform.

Aurora Pride made the decision to make the parade welcoming for all people in the parade since police/community tensions are still high from the George Floyd protests two years ago.

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin (R) criticized the decision and withdrew his participation and the city’s own float from the parade. Irvin is also in a tight primary race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination against several far-right candidates.