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 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor


  IDENTITY

Gays tackle Burris pick
by Yasmin Nair
2009-02-01

This article shared 4611 times since Sun Feb 1, 2009
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gov. Rod Blagojevich recently announced that he was appointing Roland Burris to the Senate seat previously occupied by President-elect Barack Obama. The move has generated controversy, censure and ridicule. The governor is being decried for equal parts hubris and arrogance, while Burris has been criticized for participating in what many claim is an unethical move.

This latest news may well turn out to be the most negative in Burris's career, one that has seen a steady climb upwards, from being the first African American elected to statewide office in Illinois, first as comptroller ( 1979-1981 ) and then as attorney general ( 1991-1995 ) . Burris is well-liked and respected in political circles. Michael O'Connor, former legislative aide to State Rep. Connie Howard, said that Roland Burris is "eminently qualified." Burris has been broadly supportive of LGBT-defined issues.

( On Jan. 6, Senate authorities denied Burris the opportunity to be sworn in with the newest group of senators. Burris was slated to meet with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Jan. 7 in the latter's office. )

Rick Garcia, political director of LGBT-rights group Equality Illinois, praised Burris, saying that Burris has been supportive of gay rights throughout his political career and even sought out LGBT support for his possible nomination to the Senate seat as early as Nov. 4, the night of Obama's election. According to Garcia, Burris approached him during the Grant Park celebrations, asking for the community's support.

Garcia described Blagojevich's appointment as "bittersweet," going on to say that while "Roland Burris is highly competent and has an excellent record on lesbian and gay issues, anyone that this governor would appoint is tainted. Gov. Blagojevich could have appointed Mother Teresa and she would have been tainted." Garcia pointed out Burris's record on LGBT issues: "Burris has had a long relationship with the Illinois LGBT community. Even way back, when he was first appointed attorney general, he had openly gay staff, including Lisa Cohen, and his lobbying team lobbied the [ bill designed to included sexual orientation in the statewide human-rights ordinance ] .

In a 1997 interview with BLACKlines and Outlines newspapers ( which later merged with Windy City Times ) , Burris said he would not endorse gay marriage, using an argument that was somewhat evangelical in its fervor: "If you take it [ same-sex marriage ] to its ultimate conclusion, it will then be the destruction of the species." However, Garcia is not concerned about this because, as he put it, such a position is no different than that of most other pro-gay candidates who balk at gay marriage and, more importantly for Garcia, same-sex marriage is an issue to be fought for on the state and not at the federal level. According to Garcia, Burris is solidly in the pro-gay category, given his "support for hate-crimes legislation, his stand on non-discrimination, and [ his opposition to ] DADT [ Don't Ask, Don't Tell ] ."

Ben Montgomery, constituent services administrator for U.S. Rep. Danny Davis ( who turned down the Senate seat before it was offered to Burris ) , thinks Burris is "an excellent choice." With regard to the LGBT community, Montgomery said, "I think he'd be responsive; he's not close-minded on issues that affect us." Montgomery also pointed out the significance of Burris's stature as the first African American elected to statewide office: "In the African-American community, we're very proud of that."

However, Montgomery did not approve of the way race was handled during the press conference where Blagojevich announced the appointment. Both the governor and U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush used the phrase "lynching" and strongly suggested that it was incumbent upon the state to elect Burris in order to ensure that an African American would occupy the seat. As Montgomery put it, "Roland can stand on his own track record. I don't agree with making it a racial issue [ and ] on the whole general issue of using race in order to get something accomplished, such as this. Because the man that was chosen is above that. He has not accomplished what he's accomplished without the support of the white, Black and Hispanic populations. I don't agree with using race as a way to pressure people. It has no place here."

Montgomery added that he was looking forward to Burris becoming a U.S. senator, hopeful that he would sign on to important LGBT-focused legislation such as increasing Ryan White Care Act funding, and helping make voluntary HIV testing as routine as a blood test.

— Also contributing: Tracy Baim


This article shared 4611 times since Sun Feb 1, 2009
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Chile president-elect names LGBTQ+ people to his Cabinet 2022-01-22
- Chilean President-elect Gabriel Boric—who won a runoff election on Dec. 21, 2021—named two openly LGBTQ+ people to his Cabinet on Jan. 21, the Los Angeles Blade reported. Marco Antonio Avila, a gay man, will be the ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal issues assessment of Biden-Harris administration's work for LGBTQ+, HIV communities 2022-01-22
-- From a press release - Washington, D.C. — Lambda Legal released a new comprehensive report that assesses the Biden-Harris administration's first year with respect to its impact on the LGBTQ+ community and everyone living with HIV. While the report identifies significan ...


Gay News

Planned Parenthood Illinois Action launches virtual Black Community Town Hall Series in February 2022-01-20
-- From a press release - CHICAGO - Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) proudly announces a new Black Community Town Hall series in honor of Black History Month. The series of virtual discussions will tackle topics such as community wellness and care, ...


Gay News

Failure to enact Freedom to Vote is a blow to vulnerable groups 2022-01-20
-- From a press release - From Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund: "The failure to enact the Freedom to Vote, John R. Lewis Act is a profound blow to our Democracy. The inability to ensure ...


Gay News

'Jane's Army' to recruit, deploy pro-choice volunteers 2022-01-20
-- From a press release - Chicago, IL — Personal PAC, Men4Choice, and Future Voices Council have launched Jane's Army — a joint campaign to recruit activist volunteers to educate, motivate, and activate pro-choice voters ahead of the critical 2022 election. This ...


Gay News

Sinema under fire from LGBTQ+ groups for voting-rights stance 2022-01-20
- Some LGBTQ+-rights organizations have criticized U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona)—a member of the community—after her stance on voting rights. Sinema and fellow Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, have ...


Gay News

Human Rights Campaign Foundation releases new data on the LGBTQ+ wage gap 2022-01-19
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released ...


Gay News

Human Rights Campaign celebrates advances in LGBTQ+ policies one year into Biden-Harris administration 2022-01-19
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, DC — One day before the one year anniversary of the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) celebrates the advances that have been made in LGBTQ+ ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+-rights activist Jim Obergefell announces political run 2022-01-18
- Jim Obergefell—the LGBTQ+-rights activist and named plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide—announced Jan. 18 that he is launching a bid for the Ohio state House, CNN.com reported. "I took a history-ma ...


Gay News

Chief Judge Evans responds to Mayor Lightfoot's request on electronic monitoring 2022-01-18
-- Press release from Office of the Chief Judge Cook County Circuit Court - Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans responded Jan. 19 to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's request for a moratorium on use of electronic monitoring for defendants accused of certain violent crimes by pointing out the national and state ...


Gay News

Two join races for state office, Personal PAC comments on threats to reproductive rights 2022-01-18
-- From a Personal PAC press release - Chicago, IL — Today, following the news that anti-choice extremists Richard Irvin and Avery Bourne would run as Republicans for governor and Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, Personal PAC President and CEO Terry Cosgrove released the following ...


Gay News

COVID Mayor Lightfoot ends isolation 2022-01-18
- Five days after testing positive for COVID-19, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she is out of isolation, per CBS Chicago. "Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me and sent their well wishes. I am ...


Gay News

Aurora mayor joins crowded GOP field in race for governor 2022-01-18
- Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin announced his candidacy for governor of Illinois on Jan. 17, joining a slew of Republicans hoping to challenge Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker in November, NBC Chicago reported. Irvin, a Black Republican and ...


Gay News

WORLD Archbishop demoted, Israel ruling, Denmark petition, tennis icon 2022-01-16
- Pope Francis demoted Archbishop Giacomo Morandi, the number-two official in the doctrine office, due to the belief that he is responsible for the controversial document that bars blessings for same-sex couples, according to Newsweek. Morandi is ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Lambda Legal, Penn. city's change, couple on the run, Bayard Rustin 2022-01-16
- Lambda Legal filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society, Inc. on behalf of a former employee who was fired after they and other Dallas Arboretum ...


 



Copyright © 2022 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.