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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Legal titan Pat Logue, and her impact on many LGBT people
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2019-10-16

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Politics and social justice causes have been parts of award-winning retired Cook County Circuit Court Associate Justice Pat Logue's life since childhood.

Logue, who now is living with Alzheimer's disease, is also Lambda Legal's former Midwest constitutional litigation director. Her contributions as both an activist and a jurist will long be felt by members of the LGBT community.

"Pat was my mentor," said Lambda Legal Director of Constitutional Litigation Camilla Taylor. "She was a brilliant lawyer, leader and a champion of our boldest, bravest arguments. Pat won precedent-setting, first-of-its-kind victories all over the country. She was a visionary, risk-taker, optimist and always chose the boldest path to victory."

Logue grew up in a suburb outside of Philadelphia, where she lived with her parents and five siblings. Both her parents were deeply engaged in the civil rights and gender equality movements, protesting against the Vietnam War and campaigning for Democratic candidates. Logue's father, a political science professor, ran unsuccessful campaigns for the U.S. Senate four times and co-founded the World Federalist Association's Philadelphia chapter.

Logue graduated from Brown University, where she earned a degree in American Civilization, and Northwestern University School of Law. During law school, she came out as a lesbian.

"My law school years, in terms of the lesbian and gay stuff, was taken up with the coming-out process," Logue recalled in a 2007 interview on the Chicago Gay History website. "My friends and I got involved in orchestrating Chicago's bid for the National Conference on Women and the Law, which took place here in 1986, I believe. That involved 175 workshops on a range of issues, but more than average lesbian and gay content and a lot of related issues."

Logue remained in Chicago after graduating, first working for Jenner & Block while doing pro-bono cases for Lambda Legal. She next moved to Business and Professional People for the Public Interest for three years, where she fought against Commonwealth Edison's rate increases, among other cases.

When Logue moved to Lambda Legal in 1993, she had already been a board member for five years. During her 14 years running the Lambda Legal Midwest Office, she held numerous positions. Among her hires were now Chicago Commission on Human Relations Chair and Commissioner Mona Noriega, who was Logue's first staff member.

"Those initial years setting up the office were just her and I, in a shared office, with one desk and one phone," said Noriega. "Although Pat was younger than me, her litigator training and laser focus in building precedent and changing the landscape for LGBT civil rights inspired me."

Noriega said it was Logue who made her realize that she too was an activist.

"Pat was then, and still is, a hero to me," said Noriega."I learned to be more thoughtful and strategic, and I like to think that I made her laugh. LGBT civil rights, here in Chicago, the state of Illinois and in this country have been touched, driven and impacted by Pat Logue. I am forever indebted to her."

Logue's wife, Marcia Festen, said that among the Lambda Legal issues and cases Logue was most proud of contributing to were those securing joint adoption rights for same-sex parents in Illinois; the ( Jamie ) Nabozny v. Podlesny case in Wisconsin, wherein the U.S. appellate court ruled for the first time that public schools could be held liable for failing to protect LGBT students from being bullied; the Lawrence v. Hardwick Supreme Court case, because striking down sodomy laws nationwide opened the door to marriage equality; and the Bud Billiken case that resulted in LGBT contingents being able to march in that iconic parade.

"Pat also had an encyclopedic command of constitutional doctrine, but her writing was never stale or academic," recalled Taylor. "She helped me understand that the path to winning in court is introducing the court to the common humanity and dignity of LGBT people through story-telling."

Taylor also praised how Logue never invoked pity for the organization's clients, though Logue was tasked with telling "stories of people who had been through hell as a result of the discrimination and oppression we were challenging. … She gave our clients back their dignity, and challenged judges to see in our clients a version of themselves. That was part of Pat's genius."

While Logue was working at Lambda Legal, she met Festen. Like a number of long-term gay and lesbian couples, their matrimonial journey had a number of steps; Festen and Logue had a commitment ceremony in 2002, and were legally married on the beach during a family reunion in 2008 at Martha's Vineyard's Edgartown Lighthouse.

"We realized that, since we were in Massachusetts, we could officially tie the knot," Festen recalled. "So with a day's notice, Pat's cousin, the town clerk, found us a Justice of the Peace who got us our license very quickly. It was all rather spontaneous."

They adopted Ruby, who is now 16, in 2003 in Louisiana, and Ella, now 14, in 2005 in Washington State.

In April 2007, Logue left Lambda Legal when she was appointed Cook County Circuit Court associate judge. She worked for 10 years in family court hearing child custody and divorce cases, joining a handful of openly LGBT Cook County judges. In her role as a judge, Logue married a number of couples, among them Noriega and Evette Cardona, and Vernita Gray, now deceased, and Pat Ewert. She also performed Noriega and Cardona's 2011 civil union in Millennium Park.

"When we won marriage equality, my first call was to Evette, to meet me at the county clerk's office so we could immediately secure a marriage license," said Noriega. "My second call was to Pat to ask if we could come to her house, that weekend, so she could officially marry us. With only two days notice, Marcia and Pat opened their home [and] served cake and champagne, and Pat married us."

"I vividly remember Judge Pat Logue on the day of our wedding, Nov. 27, 2013," said Ewert. "She was grinning from ear to ear, and performed a meaningful and heartfelt service. Afterward she said she had never performed a wedding that meant as much to her as ours. Pat has spent her life doing important 'firsts' for our community. She is an amazing woman."

Logue recently received Lambda Legal's Bon Foster Liberty Award in 2018 and the 2019 American Constitutional Society Chicago lawyer chapter Abner Mikva Legal Legends Award.

In addition to Logue's numerous awards, she was also inducted into Chicago's LGBT Hall of Fame in 2003 and recognized as an extraordinary civil rights leader in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Jan Schakowsky in late 2018.

See www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2018/02/27/extensions-of-remarks-section/article/E227-1 for Schakowsky's remarks.


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