Joy, love and occasional notes of somberness and urgency described the feel of 2018's Lambda Legal Bon Foster, held on the evening of April 19 at Morgan Manufacturing in River North.
"In the face of discrimination and mistreatment, we reached out to one another," said event co-chair Julius Carter. "We have always channeled our power, and always created a party."
The event traditionally celebrates Robert Bonvouloir "Bon" Foster, a young attorney who, after his death from AIDS, stipulated his estate should start the Midwest office of Lambda Legal, and the evening's Liberty Award recipient was the founding attorney of the Midwest office, Patricia Logue. In a video created for the ceremony, Mayor Rahm Emanuel called Logue "a true civil-rights pioneer" and her impact on the lives of LGBTQ people "enormous."
Former Lambda Legal chief development officer and longtime Midwest regional director Jim Bennett added that Logue was "brilliant, strategic" and "not very patient" when it came to wanting rights for all. "She was driven to do everything possible to move all of us forward," Bennett said.
Acting Lambda Legal Director Camilla Taylor highlighted Logue's work in landmark cases, including Nabozny v Podlesny, which found that schools had an obligation to prevent anti-gay bullying, many cases involving LGBTQ parents, and the groundbreaking Lawrence vs. Texas.
Windy City Times publisher Tracy Baim, lawyer Paul Smith, and Freedom to Marry advocate Evan Wolfson contributed their own recollections of Logue via video. Baim called Logue, "tremendous in terms of community building," and that her calm presence "kept the community going." Smith recalled working with Logue on Lawrence and remembered her "demanding of me that we get this right." Wolfson praised Logue's calm, steadiness, humor and intellect "as a person and as a leader."
Lambda Legal CEO Rachel Tiven concluded the eveningprior to food and dancingby asking for support in the current political climate, walking the audience through a world where LGBTQ protections and rights were regulated and repealed in a similar fashion to abortion laws. She also celebrated how Lambda's efforts have succeeded overtime, calling the world the organization created "a little bit more loving, and a little more, a little more challenging, colorful and fun."