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Gery Chico urges passage of civil-unions bill
News update Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010

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In a meeting Nov. 28 with members of the LGBT community at Lakeview's Ann Sather restaurant, mayoral candidate Gery Chico laid out a platform advocating for full rights and equality for all people, according to a campaign press release. Chico also urged state legislators to pass Senate Bill 1716 ( SB1716 ) , a bill that would legalize civil unions for same-sex couples in the state of Illinois and is slated to be considered by the General Assembly very soon, possibly this week.

"Extending human rights and responsibilities to committed same-sex couples is not only a matter of justice and human decency, it happens to be good public policy," Chico said. "This bill is a step in the right direction and we must not let perfect be the enemy of good. Our legislators must pass this bill and they must pass it now."

Chico will spend part of Nov. 29 reaching out to state legislators and asking them to support SB1716.

According to the release, Chico has a history of supporting equality and full rights for all people throughout his career. Running for the U.S. Senate in 2004, Chico supported full marriage equality.

"Illinois needs more leaders like Gery Chico who are willing to stand up for what is right, even when it's not politically convenient," said Rick Garcia, director of public policy at Equality Illinois. "Gery has always stood on the side of full rights and equality. I hope members of the General Assembly will stand with him this week."

"Gery's platform is the most substantive that I've ever seen," said Greg Simoncini, a former board member of Lambda Legal and the Victory Fund. "In campaigns, many candidates will say things to get elected but we can always count on Gery to stand up for full equality for all people because he's done it before and he'll do it again."

Chico also unveiled the rest of his LGBT platform at the meeting. Among other things, he called for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," emphasized his support of the Uniting American Families Act ( which would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to ban discrimination ) and said that he advocate prosecuting hate crimes to the fullest extent of the law.

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