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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Urbana ally Bernadine Evans Stake dies
2019-03-03

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Bernadine Evans Stake—a longtime Urbana, Illinois, resident who was an ally of the LGBTQ+ community—has died at 92, News-Gazette.com reported.

Personal PAC CEO Terry Cosgrove relayed the news to Windy City Times.

Stake was born on a farm near Lindy, Nebraska, on April 29, 1926. She was a graduate of the University of Nebraska and also received a master's and doctorate in education from the University of Illinois.

Among other accomplishments, she served on the Urbana City Council during 1969-1973, 1975-1981 and 1983-1989, and on the Planning Commission during 1995-2014. An active leader in local government, she promoted a progressive agenda which included passage of a human-rights ordinance in 1975—the first in the state and one of the first in the nation to acknowledge LGBTQ rights.

Cosgrove emailed, "She supported everything I did on LGBTQ and abortion rights and always had her door open to me and so many others. She treated me like a son. After she passed what we believe was the 1st human-rights ordinance in the country, she then secured my appointment as chair of the Urbana Human Rights Commission, which might have also been a 1st.

"When I filed the first successful lawsuit in the country banning discrimination against LGBTQ people in public accommodations in 1980—largely possible because of her helping to pass the sister LGBTQ inclusive Champaign ordinance—she stood with me privately and publicly every step of the away. The LGBTQ community and women's-rights activists have lost an early hero of the fight for equality."

The News-Gazette.com item is at www.news-gazette.com/obituaries/2019-03-01/bernadine-evans-stake.html .


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