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 2019-08-21
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

Gery Chico announces LGBT platform, pushes for civil unions
by Joseph Erbentraut
2011-01-01

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


With just under three months to go until Chicago's mayoral election, candidate Gery Chico unveiled his campaign's expansive platform on LGBT issues in an event held Nov. 29 at Ann Sather's Belmont Avenue restaurant.

Speaking to an audience of press, activists and community members, Chico outlined his support for full marriage equality and the extension of domestic-partner benefits for employees contracted to do work with the city among a cornucopia of other issues. He further expressed his desire to see the passage of the state's urgent civil unions legislation, Senate Bill ( SB ) 1716, due for vote in the General Assembly as early as Nov. 30.

Chico described SB1716 as "critical" and "a matter of fairness and decency." He said he would spend much of his Monday contacting several state lawmakers and urging them to support the legislation.

"It's a civil-rights issue. It's just as simple as that. Two people, two adults, same sex should be able to decide that ... It's just that easy," Chico said. "It will be a happy day in Illinois when this legislation is approved."

Beyond civil unions, Chico has been on the record as pro-same-sex marriage dating at least back to 2004, when the Chicago Tribune reported the then-U.S. Senate contender was the only candidate in that race—including its eventual winner, President Obama—that supported marriage equality for LGBT people in that race.

But Chico says his support of LGBT equality dates even further back than that, making for an "easy" decision to push for a wide array of increased protections for queer Chicagoans.

"The way I was brought up in my family, we were all about equality for people no matter what your background was or where you came from and this came from my grandparents down through my parents to me," Chico said. "I'm really proud that my brothers and I were raised in an environment like that so it was not a sweat for me at all."

Chico's platform further outlines hopes to ensure equal employment opportunities for LGBT people living in the city, to support and collaborate with community anchors like the Center on Halsted and Howard Brown Health Center and to institute mandatory LGBT sensitivity and diversity training for police officers, firefighters and emergency medical treatment workers. In schools, he hopes to initiate a proactive anti-bullying program as part of a broader goal to "revolutionize the way we instruct students."

To help combat to the city's still staggering HIV-infection rates, he said he would maintain or increase funding for AIDS prevention and care and hinted at a forthcoming proposal on the issue to be revealed sometime in the coming weeks.

Chico's platform also addresses several federal LGBT issues, including his support for the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and for the passage of the Uniting American Families Act as part of further comprehensive immigration reform.

Greg Simoncini, a former board member of both Lambda Legal and the Victory Fund, described Chico's platform as refreshingly detailed and an indication the candidate would "walk the talk." He admired Chico's willingness to utilize his position to potentially affect issues being debating beyond the city's borders. No other candidate in the race to date, he noted, has come near to Chico in laying out his or her specific positions on these issues.

"I have never seen a mayoral candidate run on a platform that not only addresses local issues but says, 'Here is what I can do with my influence,'" Simoncini said.

Rick Garcia, Equality Illinois director of public policy, introduced Chico, who he described as a candidate who has stood with LGBT people "long before it was popular or the politically correct thing to do." Referencing the advances the community has made under the leadership of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Garcia described Chicago as "at a turning point" and hoped Daley's successor would continue the current mayor's willingness to address LGBT issues.

"As gay-rights activist, I say we cannot lose that," Garcia said. "We need a mayor that not only represents us here but is very vocal and strong across the country and Gery has demonstrated that over and over again."

Drawing his comments to a conclusion, Chico challenged his competitors in the mayoral race to publicly state their positions on LGBT issues in order for the city's residents to make informed decisions. He further welcomed feedback from the community on his platform, describing it as "in its draft form."

"This is not carved in stone but I think as one candidate's best foot forward about how we can put in writing and make the commitment with ideas," Chico added. "I want this campaign to be about ideas, not about generalities ... It's about what we think is the right thing to do and it continues to flesh out the future as we see Chicago's future."

Chico, an attorney and lifelong Chicagoan, has a long history of achievements in city government dating back to 1977, including serving as Daley's chief of staff from 1992 to 1995 and Chicago Public Schools' president of the board of trustees from 1995 to 2001. Most recently, Daley appointed Chico to the City Colleges of Chicago's board of trustees.

Preliminary polling in the mayoral race has thus far favored Obama's former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, although at least 15 petitions filed to date have challenged whether Emanuel meets the city's residency requirement of living in Chicago for at least one year prior to an election. Former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun, U.S. Congressman Danny Davis, state Senator James Meeks and City Clerk Miguel Del Valle are other leading contenders in the race.


facebook twitter 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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Powerful AIDS group may be examined for use of federal funds 2019-08-21 - California state Sen. Ben Hueso ( D-Chula Vista ) has asked state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to investigate if the AIDS Healthcare Foundation ...


Gay News

HRC releases HEI; 16 Illinois hospitals cited as leaders 2019-08-21 - The Human Rights Campaign Foundation ( HRC ) released its 12th annual Healthcare Equality Index ( HEI ), which scores healthcare facilities on ...


Gay News

Equality Illinois looks ahead with more diverse board 2019-08-21 - LGBT-rights advocacy Equality Illinois recently began its new fiscal year with a board of directors organization officials say better reflects the diversity of ...


Gay News

Michael Bauer reflects on a life of activism 2019-08-21 - Activist Michael Bauer, originally an attorney and executive who has been active in fundraising in local LGBT, Jewish and womens' communities since the ...


Gay News

WORLD Fleeing Russia, Cuban activist, UNAIDS, Magnum ad 2019-08-21 - Gay married couple Andrei Vaganov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev were forced to flee Russia over concerns their adopted children could be taken away, NewNowNext.com ...


Gay News

Pritzker bolsters Illinois Human Rights Act 2019-08-20 - On Aug. 20, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed several measures—including HB 252—which strengthens the Illinois Human Rights Act to protect employees against discrimination ...


Gay News

Mayor of Canada's capital comes out 2019-08-18 - Jim Watson—the longtime mayor of Ottawa, the capital of Canada—came out as gay in a column in the Ottawa Citizen, writing that the ...


Gay News

Reports say Schock may be stepping out of closet 2019-08-16 - LGBTQ Nation reported that former Congressman Aaron Schock ( R-Illinois )—who favored anti-gay legislation while in office—appears to be taking one step out ...


Gay News

Log Cabins endorse Trump for 2020 election 2019-08-16 - The Washington Blade has reported that—in a stunning reversal from 2016—the LGBT group the National Log Cabin Republicans has endorsed President Trump for ...


Gay News

New HRC president to go on national tour 2019-08-15 - The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) announced that new President Alphonso David will embark on a national tour of seven key cities ...


 



Copyright © 2019 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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



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 publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.