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  WINDY CITY TIMES

City to honor Gay Veterans, Member of Chief of Naval Operations Exec Panel to Keynote
NEWS UPDATE Friday, July 24, 2009
2009-07-29

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[ Just added: Nationally known jazz performer Spider Saloff and the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus will perform at the noon to 1 p.m. event at Richard J. Daley Plaza. ]

FROM A CITY OF CHICAGO NEWS RELEASE

July 24, 2009

Veterans from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT ) communities will be honored at "With Liberty and Justice For All" — the nation's only municipally sponsored, military salute to LGBT veterans — on Wednesday, August 5, announced Dana V. Starks, Chairman and Commissioner of the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations ( CCHR ) . The event will take place from 12 noon to 1 p.m. at Richard J. Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St. For more information, contact Bill Greaves at 312-744-7911.

Luke Visconti — member of the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel and of the U.S. Navy Diversity Senior Advisory Group — will be the keynote speaker. Visconti was on active duty as a naval aviator and commissioned officer with the U.S. Navy from 1982 to 1990, and in the reserves until 1992. Visconti is a co-founder and partner of DiversityInc Media L.L.C. and is regularly quoted on diversity issues in publications such as the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Fortune. He has appeared on FOX, MSNBC, CNBC, and NPR.

U.S. Representative Mike Quigley will also be a featured speaker. Congressman Quigley recently issued a statement calling for the repeal of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, and he is a co-sponsor of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009 ( H.R. 1283 ) , which would repeal the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

H.R. 1283 currently has 164 co-sponsors, including seven members of the Illinois Congressional delegation — Rep. Danny K. Davis ( IL-7 ) , Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez ( IL-4 ) , Rep. Phil Hare ( IL-17 ) , Rep. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. ( IL-2 ) , Rep. Mike Quigley ( IL-5 ) , Rep. Bobby L. Rush ( IL-1 ) , and Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky ( IL-9 ) .

Visconti and U.S. Rep. Quigley will be joined on stage by a number of elected officials and LGBT veterans. In addition, the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus will perform two selections, and the program will include a presentation of colors, a Mayoral proclamation, and a wreath-laying ceremony.

This unparalleled event is meant to pay tribute to America's LGBT veterans and inspire dialogue and advocacy in their behalf.

"With Liberty and Justice For All" is a presentation of the CCHR Advisory Council on Veterans' Affairs and the CCHR Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in partnership with the Chicago chapter of American Veterans for Equal Rights.


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