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 2020-05-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

McKeon remembered in Springfield
News Update Wed. May 21, 2008
by Amy Wooten
2008-05-21

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


State legislators held an official remembrance in Springfield to mourn the passing of a gay pioneer, former State Rep. Larry McKeon.

The Illinois House of Representatives honored McKeon, the first openly gay and HIV-positive Illinois legislator, on May 20, for his years of dedicated public service. Many of McKeon's friends and former colleagues spoke of the broad range of work he did on behalf of groups such as the gay and lesbian community, immigrants, the homeless, seniors and workers.

With House Resolution 1323, state legislators honored McKeon's legacy as a compassionate lawmaker and activist. Although McKeon is most remembered as the sponsor of an amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, which was passed in 2005, those present also noted the many other ways in which McKeon touched the lives of Illinoisans.

McKeon represented the North Side's 13th District, which was the 34th prior to re-districting in 2002. He made state history when he was elected to the House in 1996. He served five consecutive terms until his retirement in 2007, when he was replaced by Rep. Greg Harris, who also happens to be openly gay and HIV-positive.

During the memorial, Harris said that McKeon was proud to stand up for many groups besides the LGBT community over the years, such as the labor, immigrant and senior communities.

Rep. George Scully, D-Crete, agreed: 'I hope we all remember the very broad range of issues he cared deeply about.'

Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, called McKeon's contributions 'enormous,' adding, 'Larry was a man for all seasons.'

Harris also spoke of how McKeon's election as the first openly gay and HIV-positive state lawmaker was both an opportunity and burden for him. But even though all eyes were on McKeon at all times, Harris said that McKeon managed to raise the bar very high.

'I hope he knows that he served our community well,' Harris said, calling McKeon a role model to members of the LGBT community.

'He could show by example what gay people want is the same as what everybody wants.

' … It was a good life, and a life that touched many people in many, many ways,' Harris added.

Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, was moved to tears while she talked about McKeon's legacy as a man who cared deeply about social justice, and a man who, by serving the public, changed many minds.

'For some people he was the first openly gay man they have ever met,' Feigenholtz said. 'For others, he was the first openly HIV-positive person they have ever met.

… We can never un-ring that bell,' she added.

One of those people whose mind was changed by McKeon was Rep. Kurt Granberg, D-Mt. Vernon, who comes from a socially conservative district. He shared that he was opposed to the amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act at first, but after hearing McKeon's personal story, had a change of heart.

'Larry taught me a lesson,' Granberg said. 'I sat in my chair and changed my mind after I listened to Larry McKeon.'

Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Highland, said that although he and McKeon still disagreed on many different issues on the House floor, he had great respect for him.

'Larry McKeon made a difference in Illinois and I believe we're better for it because of him,' Stephens said.

A memorial service for McKeon will be held in Chicago in June. Details will be reported as they become available.


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

Restaurants and related businesses: COVID-19/LGBTQ news 2020-05-04 - —Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., now has concessions to go. The packages include favorites from its concessions stand, including soda, candy, ...


Gay News

Restaurants and related businesses: COVID-19 news 2020-04-28 - —Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the official launch of the City's Emergency Food Coordination Center at Malcolm X College in partnership with The ...


Gay News

Restaurants and related businesses: COVID-19 and LGBTQ news 2020-04-20 - —Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined Chicago Cubs owners Tom and Laura Ricketts for a visit to a new Lakeview Pantry satellite site at ...


Gay News

Restaurants and related businesses: COVID-19 news 2020-04-14 - —Volunteer-run nonprofit The Puerto Rican Agenda and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center have teamed with Puerto Rican restaurant Nellie's, 2458 W. Division St., ...


Gay News

REPORT Evening TV news gave less than 20 minutes to anti-trans violence in 2019 2020-04-10 - Amid what the American Medical Association called a "disturbing pattern of violence toward black transgender women," a new report from Media Matters for ...


Gay News

HIV leadership gets focused COVID-19 news to people living with HIV 2020-04-10 - April 9, 2020 ( Nationwide ) — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 10 national, community-centered HIV service & advocacy organizations partnered to ...


Gay News

Restaurants and related businesses: COVID-19 news 2020-04-06 - —Lakeview Pantry has partnered with the Lavin Family Foundation and Cubs Charities to address food insecurity in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Gay attorney dies, lawsuit against HHS, trans woman killed, health news 2020-03-24 - The LGBT Bar Association of New York, or LeGal, noted that Richard Weber Jr. ( who was a board member ) died from ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Cartoonist's memorial, mayor dies, Idaho bill, panic defense, political news 2020-03-03 - A public celebration of the life and work of Howard Cruse, a pioneer in the LGBTQ cartooning movement, will be held in New ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Fatal shooting, LGBTQ political news, Bayard Rustin, travel ban 2020-02-05 - In response to the ongoing investigation into the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Ja'Quarius Taylor, from New Orleans, as a possible hate crime, National ...


 



Copyright © 2020 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
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar 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.