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Berwyn tells gay community 'Welcome'

Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 2:23 p.m. CDT
Berwyn resident Scott Lennon (from left) and Berwyn Mayor Robert J. Lovero participated on a Pride Parade float on June 30 in Chicago.

BERWYN – If Chicago is the city with broad shoulders, Berwyn is certainly the city with open arms.

Berwyn Mayor Robert J. Lovero joined other community leaders on a float at the 44th Annual Pride Parade, formerly known as the Gay Pride Parade, June 30 in Chicago.

Lovero said Berwyn's diversity was a great asset for "a comfortable, yet vibrant community, and we welcome all with open arms."

With the growth of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT) community in Berwyn, the city took strides to publically recognize its presence. In June 2008, the City added "sexual orientation" to its newly adopted Human Rights Ordinance. In June 2012, the city passed a resolution supporting equal access to housing regardless of "sexual orientation or gender identity."

Through its Integrated Marketing Campaign, managed by the Berwyn Development Corporation (BDC), the city has has branded itself as a top-choice destination for move-up and first-time homebuyers, of all persuasions.

Berwyn resident and activist Scott Lennon has been involved with Berwyn’s outreach efforts for the past seven years, adding it was the only Chicago suburb doing direct outreach, encouraging first time home buyers, urban dwellers and families to join the Berwyn community.

According to the BDC, Berwyn's demographics have been changing for the past 10 years. In 2011, the Williams Institute of UCLA released a study listing Berwyn among the top five cities in the state with same-sex couples per 1,000 households. Berwyn was also ranked third for total number of same-sex couples in Cook County outside of the city of Chicago, just behind Oak Park and Evanston. Between the 2000 and 2010 Census, Berwyn had a 41 percent increase in households reporting same-sex couples.

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