Chicago soccer team partners with Illinois gay rights group

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The Chicago Fire Soccer Club. - PHOTO:

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club has partnered with Illinois’ largest gay rights group to celebrate this summer.

The Fire and Equality Illinois are co-hosting a series of events – a recent event was held at Sidetrack in Boystown on July 6 – this summer. The largest event will be Chicago Fire Pride Night on Aug. 4.

“We are excited that this relationship will yield so many benefits for Equality Illinois, the Chicago Fire, and especially the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and our allies,” stated Bernard Cherkasov of Equality Illinois in a news release. “Most importantly, this support from a major pro-sports team signals to fans and LGBT youth the diverse voices that embrace equality.”

The partnership was launched during the Chicago Pride Parade on June 24, when representatives with the Chicago Fire marched along with the Equality Illinois float with its “I Do” support marriage equality theme.

Other events include the Celebrity Pie Toss on July 28 at Sidetrack, when several members from the Chicago Fire will join other celebrities on the receiving end of pies thrown by the highest bidders, whose contributions will aid Equality Illinois programs.

Chicago Fire Pride Night takes place during a soccer match at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, with a portion of ticket sale proceeds benefiting the Equality Illinois Education Project.

“We greatly appreciate the generosity of the entire Chicago Fire organization,” said EI development director Michael Nordman. “The time and resources they are devoting to this partnership is another great example of how local organizations can step up and showcase support for diversity and equality.”

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