At Center on Halsted, openly gay activist Yoni Pizer was sworn Feb. 10 into his new post as the 12th District state House representative.
Pizer, the longtime LGBT liaison for U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, was appointed to the position by local committeemen the previous day. He fills a vacancy left by former state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz's switch to a post in the Illinois state Senate.
Pizer was sworn in by transgender judicial candidate Jill Rose Quinn, and was accompanied by his husband Brad Lippitz.
Pizer said that Feigenholtz had provided "honest, effective and progressive" leadership for the district, adding, "I look forward to continuing that tradition."
He also said, "I am humbled and honored to be standing before you today."
State Rep. Kelly Cassidy also spoke at the occasion, as did Rabbi Michael Siegel of Anshe Emet Synagogue, where Pizer and Lippitz are members.
"It is the strength of [Pizer's] beliefs that we are celebrating today," said Siegel, before leading the audience in the Shehecheyanu, the Jewish prayer that usually marks special occasions.
Among the elected officials in attendance were Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner Debra Shore; Cook County Board Commissioner Kevin Morrison; state Rep. Lamont Robinson; and Ald. Tom Tunney.
Pizer now faces a campaign against several other district residents to retain the post in the next House term, with the primary being Tuesday, March 17. Among his opponents are Marty Malone, James Garfield and Ryan Podges, who are all also openly gay.