Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-06-09
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

ELECTIONS COOK COUNTY JUDGE Stephanie Miller on background, being an out candidate
by Matt Simonette
2018-02-21

This article shared 1316 times since Wed Feb 21, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Openly lesbian Cook County Judge Stephanie Miller was appointed to her current post on the 6th Judicial Subcircuit in January 2017, replacing Judge Robert Lopez Cepero, who had retired.

A former prosecutor and public guardian, Miller is running in the 2018 election to keep her post. She recently spoke with Windy City Times about her professional experience, judicial philiosophies and involvement with the LGBT community.

Windy City Times: What prompted you to accept the post, and run now to keep it in the 2018 election?

Stephanie Miller: I have spent my entire legal career in public service. I started as an assistant public guardian, representing kids who are abused or neglected, and adults in probate division and then went to the state's attorney's office, where I specialized in sex crimes cases with juvenile and adolescent victims.

I've done public service my whole career. When I had the incredible opportunity to be appointed to the bench, it furthered my commitment to that work. I'm currently part of the pre-trial service division, which is the new bond court reform program.

WCT: How do you think your background as a prosecutor and guardian has benefited you in the judicial post?

SM: As I said, I've always worked in public service, and I have always, from day one as an attorney, and even when I was a law clerk, been appearing in court. So I'm comfortable with how a courtroom runs and how a courtroom is to be managed, and the appropriate demeanor to be given in front of judges who are maybe a little cranky and hot-headed, and how that affects the attorneys and the litigants who appear in front of them.

I've taken all of that to heart, and I've been in front of some truly wonderful judges that I've learned immense amounts from. I try to model myself taking a little bit from each of them to do the best job I can.

WCT: What has been your biggest challenge in campaigning so far?

SM: Certainly, as a sitting judge, it's an entirely different issue about campaigning, because I'm bound by the judicial cannon of ethics. Whereas candidates for alderman or state rep can ask for money or assistance, as a sitting judge I cannot do any of that. Though I'm certainly out every night knocking on doors and going to events, I have to rely on a phenomenal group of volunteers and some staff to help out with the things that ethically I am not allowed to do—that's the difficult part. I like to certainly hit the ground running and do it all myself, but I'm restricted in what I'm allowed to do.

WCT: Last spring, hadn't you mentioned some problems with folks in your neighborhood having problems with your being openly gay?

SM: My neighborhood has not been a problem, but my subcircuit encompasses parts of 13 different aldermanic wards and there definitely has been some resistance to me being an open and out LGBT judge and candidate—some subtle, some not so subtle. I understand that comes with the territory and you're a candidate and the public elects you. But it's 2018, and I really thought we're past a lot of that, at least in Chicago and our "blue" area.

WCT: In that same respect, what's the importance of having openly LGBT individuals on the bench?

SM: I firmly believe that, when I put the robe on and I sit on the bench, I not only bring my knowledge the law and experience as an attorney, but I don't check my life experiences at the door when I walk into the courtroom. I'm an out lesbian, I'm a Puerto Rican, I'm a wife, I'm a mother of 12-year-old twins—all of that makes me who I am and gives life experiences that [help] when people appear in front of me in court. They may or may not know my background at all, which is fine. But I [bring] that diversity that I think is crucial for people to be able to relate to and see that it's "someone like me" or "somebody who can empathize with my position." I may not rule in their favor, but at least it brings a level of fairness and unbiasedness when you have diversity on the bench—not just LGBTQ or ethnic diversity, but gender diversity as well.

WCT: Have your judicial colleagues supportive of your being out?

SM: Yes, definitely. I'm also part of an organization called Alliance for Illinois Judges. It's the first, potentially the only, LGBTQ judge's association in the country, started before I had the bench but it was something I was a part of even when I was a lawyer ahead of time.

WCT: What are the most important issues for the LGBT community that a judge has an impact on?

SM: Part of of my objective, certainly as a judge but throughout my entire career, is my role of the bench can help others come up along the way. I was lucky enough to be mentored by other LGBTQ judges and attorneys, so I certainly trying to give back also. I'm on the board of LAGBAC [Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago]; I'm on the membership committee there. So we're trying to get LGBTQ law students and young lawyers more involved.

If there is some desire on their part to be a judge, I can help with that. I think it's so crucial for everybody to have a mentorship relationship. Whether we like it or not, we're still going to run into hurdles regarding sexual orientation, and if there's somebody to go to bounce ideas off of, that can only help within the community.

See ElectJudgeStephanieMiller.com .


This article shared 1316 times since Wed Feb 21, 2018
facebook twitter pin it 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

Elected school-board bill passes Illinois House
2021-06-16
In a move seen as a bitter defeat for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the Illinois House sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker legislation that would shift control of Chicago Public Schools from the mayor to an elected ...


Gay News

NCLR campaign to highlight LGBTQ-welcoming faith-based service providers
2021-06-16
--From a press release - SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights launched the "We Serve with Love" campaign, which seeks to demonstrate that faith-based service organizations and programs are ready to serve low-income LGBTQ people and ...


Gay News

Senate hearings for Gina Ortiz Jones, Shawn Skelly; historic if confirmed
2021-06-16
--From a press release - Washington, DC — The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold confirmation hearings for two LGBTQ presidential nominees this Wednesday and both will make history if confirmed. Gina Ortiz Jones, nominated for Under Secretary of the Air ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs legislation making Juneteenth an official state holiday
2021-06-16
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD — On June 16, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation declaring June 19, Juneteenth, an official state holiday. To commemorate the abolition of slavery throughout the United States and its territories in 1865, Juneteenth will ...


Gay News

Local lesbian couple talks new band The Q's, love story, other endeavors
2021-06-16
Singing has been a part of Debra Duncan and Kayla Quiros' lives since they were in high school. Now the married couple and The Q's bandmates have released their debut album, Us Who Know, chronicling their ...


Gay News

Women's soccer documentary to debut June 24 on HBO Max
2021-06-14
HBO Max debuted the official trailer for the women's soccer movie LFG ahead of the documentary's premiere on Thursday, June 24. Directed by Oscar winners Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine, LFG is an inside account ...


Gay News

Billy Masters
2021-06-14
"Now, therefore, I, Joseph R. Biden Jr., President of the United States of America … do hereby proclaim June 2021 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month. I call upon the people of the ...


Gay News

National Women's Music Festival to stream June 30-July 4
2021-06-13
The beauty, power and wisdom of women will be celebrated at the 45th Annual National Women's Music Festival, which will be streamed on Mandolin.com on June 30-July 4. There will be a SheRocks Stage, Spotlight Stage, ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Panic defense, VP Kamala Harris, Black LGBTQ app, crime items
2021-06-13
Four states and the nation's capital have taken action to ban the so-called LGBTQ "panic defense," which is a legal strategy used by defendants to cite a victim's sexual orientation or gender identity as an excuse ...


Gay News

WORLD India court, trans death, Guatemalan LGBTQs, Gay Games
2021-06-13
A court in India ordered state and federal officials to draw up plans for sweeping reforms to respect LGBTQ rights, in a ruling that went far beyond the terms of a case brought by a lesbian couple who said they had ...


Gay News

Congress makes Pulse Nightclub a national memorial
2021-06-12
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation designating the site of the Pulse Nightclub a national memorial, NBC News reported. The House passed its version of the bill May 12. The measure now goes to President Joe ...


Gay News

Chicago has moved to Phase 5
2021-06-11
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, along with CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareño, city and community leaders, announced Chicago has moved to Phase 5, fully reopening the city as of June ...


Gay News

ON THE MOVE How Chicago's 'gayborhoods' have shifted since 1965
2021-06-10
Chicago's gayborhoods (LGBTQ+ neighborhoods) and safe spaces have been important to the city's LGBTQ+ rights movement—and saving them post-COVID may be crucial. New research at Georgetown University highlights the importance ...


Gay News

Lightfoot marks Pride Month at Legacy Project event
2021-06-08
Mayor Lori Lightfoot was among the speakers at a June 7 Legacy Project event marking Chicago's 2021 Pride Month observance. Other speakers at the event, which was moved indoors to Center on Halsted due to inclement ...


Gay News

WORLD: Domestic violence, activist dies, Jerusalem Pride, Olympics
2021-06-06
On May 28, the LGBTQ Domestic Violence Foundation launched its #SeenAndBelieved campaign to shine a light on the prevalence of DFV (domestic and family violence) in LGBTQ communities, aiming to break down the barriers to victims ...


 



Copyright © 2021 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


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

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.