LGBT friends and allies of Toni Berrios gathered at the home of Roberto Sanabria to rally support and raise funds for her re-election bid. Berrios has represented Illinois' 39th district for nine years, but is now in a contested race with an opponent who has claimed she has wavered when it comes to supporting marriage equality. [ Berrios answered in the Windy City Times questionnaire that she supports marriage equality. ]
NOTE: View downloadable election guide charts at the following link. This election chart was updated online on Tuesday March 13 with corrections and updates. www.windycitymediagroup.com/pdf/WCT_2012_primarychartsforweb.pdf .
LGBT community leaders and allies attended the Berrios event to demonstrate their support. Rick Garcia, the new senior policy analyst of the Civil Rights Agenda, told attendees that Berrios has been an essential force in the struggle to pass anti-bullying legislation in the General Assembly.
Juan Calderondirector of Vida/SIDA and founder of El Rescate, Chicago's only LGBT youth homeless sheltersaid Berrios should be recognized as the visionary and creator of the Illinois Statewide Advisory Council for LGBTQ issues. Ruben Feliciano, chair of Illinois' 2nd Legislative District LGBT Advisory Committee, said Berrios was someone who went out of her way to support just and progressive causes, regardless of geography.
Berrios thanked the gathered and praised her LGBT friends for their strong and constant support during the electionone that finds her district redrawn and significantly altered. She told the attendees she worked hard to help get the civil-unions bill passed, and affirmed her support for full marriage equality.
Text by Roberto Sanabria; photos by Ed Negron