Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-03-21
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



ELECTIONS U.S. Congress 5th Dist. Mike Quigley, staunch LGBT ally, aims for another term
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Congressman Mike Quigley is known for many things—including his passion for LGBT rights. Among other things, he is vice-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and is a founding member of the Transgender Equality Task Force. A hockey enthusiast, he even played that sport during the Gay Games when the event was in Chicago in 2006.

As he contends for yet another term ( having been first elected to Congress in 2009 ), he talked with Windy City Times about his platforms and dedication to equality, among other things.

Windy City Times: You've done quite a few things on behalf of LGBT rights.

Mike Quigley: I guess I don't have to be introduced to the community. Working as a staffer for an alderman in the '80s and helping to start the Halsted Street Merchants and the [gay pride] parade. I was a Cook County commissioner for 10 years and helping to pass domestic-relationship benefits for county workers. Now, it's like "Of course!"—but this was 20 years ago. It only passed by one vote.

WCT: It's interesting to see how far things have come.

MQ: I tell people, "It's the best of times, it's the worst of times." It's amazing progress but, at the same time, it seems like we're moving backward in a hurry. We passed gender identity [protection], which now seems way ahead of its time. However, there's painfully slow progress on the blood ban. We actually got Obama's FDA folks to make some changes, but there's still progress to be made—that's for sure.

WCT: With the way things are structured in Congress right now, are things in gridlock for the LGBT community?

MQ: Well, you're not going to codify equality. You can still get fired in this country because of your orientation [or gender identity]. It's important to have allies. We founded the Trans Equality Task Force, which is helping other communities to understand issues in the trans community.

It's not just resisting; it's continuing to move forward, educating the public and building alliances. Even if this administration was great on equality issues with the community, we would all still to be unified in the fact that he's racist, misogynistic and anti-immigrant. Discrimination against one group of Americans is discrimination against all.

These policy problems have political solutions. I was very proud to be part of changing the rules on HOPWA. I've been proud of my victories in Appropriations. Instead of playing defense, we playing offense on things such as Ryan White, Planned Parenthood and the ACA. If we flip the House [with midterm elections], things becone a lot more fun. Hopefully, this time next year, we'll talk about a blueprint for change.

Think about how much we got done with the little less than two years that we were the majority in the House and Senate, and Obama in the White House. We repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," we passed the healthcare law, we passed the climate-change bill, we passed Lilly Ledbetter so women could get paid equally.

America needed a civics lesson—that elections have consequences. The Trump administration promised to be LGBTQ-friendly. I'm looking at a picture that I have a hard time describing: candidate Trump holding up a rainbow flag—"LGBTs for Trump." They just didn't fulfill those promises; they went to war on them.

Also, there's been very little media attention on his anti-LGBTQ record. They're talking about Russia and the latest crazy tweet instead. Part of my mission is to [spotlight] his anti-LGBTQ record and to make sure LGBTQ issues get their due time.

WCT: There are LGBTQ people who still support Trump. What do you say to them?

MQ: Basically, I'd say what the hell does he have to do to get you to understand that he's openly hate-filled, bigoted, misogynistic, xenophobic and homophobic—in word and deed? He's changing the face of our country to the rest of the world that we're no longer welcoming, caring—that we were an idea and an ideal.

However, I think there are just some people we can't get to. I don't know what's deep inside them. I'm messaging the person who stayed home and isn't/wasn't engaged, or the person who hasn't made up their mind on all these things. When all this is over, we have to remind ourselves that there's more that unites us than divides us. We can't use the hate-filled rhetoric of Trump; we must concentrate on unifying. The Constitution is supposed to protect everybody.

It just isn't an LGBTQ issue. It's supposed to be "justice for all."

WCT: Let me play devil's advocate: Let's say the House is not flipped. How do you, as an individual, and the Democrats, as a party, move forward?

MQ: I'm a Cubs fan so I have to stay optimistic. [Interviewer laughs.]

The worst-case scenario is that we don't flip the House but it's close. The Republicans would need Democratic votes to get funding. So I could say, "Hey, if you want Democratic votes, then you're going to fully fund Planned Parenthood and the issues of justice." I'm prepared to use the leverage I have—and I think that leverage would increase even if we didn't flip because the Republicans are divided between the Tea Party and what's left of the moderates. I will use as much leverage as I have to help the community as much as possible. Strategy!

WCT: Gun violence has become a hot-button issue recently. What do you think should be done to curb violence? Background checks? A weapons ban?

MQ: There are two things I'm focused on. First, you don't need an assault weapon with a 30-round clip to hunt deer. The bump stocks, the multi-ammunition clip, the assault weapons—those should all be banned. Those are not part of the Second Amendment.

We need to recognize balance as a public-health issue. We have virtually eradicated public-health scourges in our lifetime, like polio. Universal access to mental-health help is needed. How many tragedies could've been prevented if that help was available.

Violence is a public-health issue. How we treat that gets to the core of the problem. Reasonable methods to dramatically increase gun control, enforcing existing matters and prosecuting those who are trafficking into our neighborhoods—but, ultimately, we need to get to the core of the problem and put research dollars there.

See .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Trump issues transgender military ban 2018-03-23 - President Trump issued orders March 23 to bar most transgender troops who need surgery or significant medical treatment from serving in the U.S. ...

Gay News

City, ACLU, groups enter agreement on police oversight 2018-03-22 - CHICAGO — In a major development in the fight for federal oversight of the Chicago Police Department ( CPD ), over a dozen ...

Gay News

LGBTQ Victory Fund Endorses 14 More LGBTQ Candidates Including Valdez for Texas Governor 2018-03-21 - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office, endorsed 14 more candidates ...

Gay News

HRC Comments on Illinois' 3rd Congressional District Primary Result 2018-03-21 - CHICAGO — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ( LGBTQ ) civil ...

Gay News

Title VII, Where and why "sex" matters to LGBT employees 2018-03-21 - Lori Franchina worked as a rescue worker for Providence, Rhode Island, and for four years, everything was fine. Then one day, she was ...

Gay News

In Eastern Caribbean LGBT People Face Bias, Violence Under Colonial-Era Laws 2018-03-21 - ( Bridgetown, Barbados, March 21, 2018 ) — Discriminatory laws in Eastern Caribbean countries make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT ) ...

Gay News

Pritzker wins primary; Robinson makes history 2018-03-21 - J.B. Pritzker is getting what he wanted—a shot at the Republican nominee for governor in November. Meanwhile, Lamont Robinson made history as ...

Gay News

LGBTQ town-hall meeting March 28 2018-03-21 - The Association of Latino/as Motivating Action ( ALMA ) will host an LGBTQ town-hall meeting on Wed., March 28, 6-7:30 p.m., at the ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Pre-teen suicide, drag-queen situation, Truth Awards, Stormy Daniels 2018-03-20 - A 12-year-old bisexual boy in Mississippi committed suicide after allegedly being bullied for coming out, Gay Star News reported. Andrew Leach was found ...

Gay News

WORLD Councilwoman killed, gay whistleblower, medicinal vending machine 2018-03-20 - Rio de Janeiro Councilwoman Marielle Franco was killed March 14 after attending and speaking at a Black women's empowerment event in the city, ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.