Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



HRC gala draws record crowd
by Matt Simonette

This article shared 3 times since Sun Nov 17, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

      More Photos

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) set an attendance record Nov. 16 for its 2013 Chicago gala. About 900 people gathered for the reception, dinner and silent auction at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park.

Among those in attendance were Gov. Pat Quinn, Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, State Comptroller Judy Barr Topinka, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly. State representatives and senators were also in attendance, including lead marriage bill sponsors Rep. Greg Harris and Sen. Heather Steans, and lead co-sponsor in the House, Rep. Ken Dunkin.

Much of the evening's programming revolved around the Illinois legislature's passage of same-sex marriage, and guests heard from politicians and activists, among others, who worked to make marriage equality a reality for many people in the United States.

Californians Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, who, in 2009, who were part of a lawsuit challenging Proposition 8—a suit ultimately leading to the U.S. Supreme Court, which sent it back to the pro-marriage equality decision in a lower court—spoke of how integral marriage quality was for same-sex couples with children and how much Illinoisans had to look forward to when marriage equality finally arrives in the Land of Lincoln.

"The power of choice is life-changing," said Perry. "The power of choice is undeniable. Living in a state that supports equality enhances everyone's lives—and Illinois, you are on the cusp of equality after a long, hard battle."

Craig Stowell, a Marine veteran who spearheaded an online marriage equality initiative in New Hampshire, largely on behalf of his brother, Calvin, who is gay, said, "Before this started, I had never even written so much as a letter to the editor. For me getting involved was a no brainer."

"I am also a Republican," he added. "That means I believe government should not be taking rights away from our friends, families and coworkers."

Gov. Quinn was later awarded HRC's Leadership for Equality Award.

"There were setbacks along the way, but we never quit," Quinn said in his acceptance speech, adding that when communities band together for common causes, "there's no more powerful force on this earth."

He looked ahead to Nov. 20, the day he will sign legislation legalizing same-sex marriage, and noted that that day came just a day after the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. He relished the fact that Illinois would be the 16th state to sign marriage into law so close to a day associated with the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln.

Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publishing Co., received the Ally for Equality Award (presented by Desiree Rogers) and Rev. Dr. B. Herbert Martin, of the Progressive Community Center and The People's Church, received the Community Equality Award (presented by HRC's MacArthur Flournoy). Rep. Harris presented the Corporate Equality Award to Groupon, who was represented by Brian Schipper, senior vice president, human resources.

HRC supporters and officials gave a broad overview of the organization's plans in upcoming years. Gala Co-Chair Sam Abeysekera said LGBT rights could essentially be springboards to achieving equality for other communities that are still struggling.

"The LGBT movement crosses every echelon of society," Abeysekera said. "Through the LGBT movement, we can realize that intolerance for one is intolerance for all." Her cochair was Marisa McCabe.

Marty Rouse, HRC's national field director, said during his remarks that the organization hopes to help bring about marriage equality in all 50 states within the next 5 years. Following the presentation, he explained that that goal would hopefully come about through a combination of popular and judicial strategies. Rouse spoke in place of HRC's leader Chad Griffin, who was unable to attend.

"We're working on winning equality in as many states as we can," Rouse said. "Right now we're working in New Mexico, hoping to win in the courts (there). We're also working on marriage in Nevada and perhaps Arizona, Ohio, Michigan and Colorado for 2016. … Then, at that point, a court case will probably be ready at a federal level."

Politicians attending the event had no regrets over their support of marriage equality. Republican state Rep. Tom Cross, who was a surprise "yes" vote on SB10, said, "Like any vote, some people were happy with it, and some people were not. I'm very comfortable that I made the right decision."

Harris said he's been enjoying the excitement that's come in the wake of the SB10 passage.

"We're hearing the stories of families from all over the state who are so thrilled," he said. "I've heard from grandmas and grandpas who are thrilled for their grandsons and granddaughters. John and Char Cepek of Northern Illinois PFLAG drove all the way to Chicago just to give me a tin of home-baked cookies. It's been so wonderful. People are so happy, and I think across the state there's nothing but joy."


Photo spread by Kat Fitzgerald (, ) at the link: .

Photo spread by Hal Baim at the link: .


Videos for Windy City Times by Tracy Baim:

HRC Chicago Gala 11-16-2013 Co-Chairs .

HRC Chicago gala 11-16-13: Sandy and Stier Kris Perry .

HRC Chicago gala 11-16-13: HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse .

Calvin and Craig Stowell at HRC Chicago gala 11-16-13 .

Linda Johnson Rice HRC award 11-16-13 in Chicago .

HRC Chicago award for Rev. B. Herbert Martin 11-16-13 .

Groupon award at HRC Chicago 11-16-13 .

Gov. Pat Quinn, State Rep. Greg Harris, Sen. Heather Steans at HRC 11-16-13 .

This article shared 3 times since Sun Nov 17, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Legacy Walk plaques added for Pauli Murray, Matthew Shepard
- The Legacy Project unveiled two bronze plaques recognizing LGBTQ+ historical figures Pauli Murray and Matthew Shepard on Oct. 16. The plaques, part of Northalsted's half-mile Legacy Walk, recognized Murray and ...

Gay News

3Arts awards nearly $1M to women artists, artists of color, Deaf, disabled artists
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL (OCTOBER 18, 2021)—3Arts, the Chicago-based nonprofit grantmaking organization, will award Chicago artists with nearly $1 million in unrestricted cash grants during the 14th annual 3Arts Awards, taking place ...

Gay News

LGBT Chamber of Commerce to build 1,000 school supply kits for underserved kids
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Back 2 School Illinois (B2SI), the state's largest free school supply program, in partnership with the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, will host a build-A-kit event at the Center on Halsted on Monday, ...

Gay News

Dozens of celebrities, companies set to take part in Spirit Day on Oct. 21
--From a press release - New York, NY, Thursday, October 14, 2021 - Today, GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, announced a preliminary list of celebrities, shows ...

Gay News

Andersonville celebrates Halloween with 'Halloween on Catalpa' Oct. 30
--From a press release - CHICAGO (October 14, 2021) — Families are in for a special treat this year as Andersonville once again hosts its socially-distanced "Halloween on Catalpa" event and celebrates the return of ...

Gay News

Co-founder of LGBTQ Latinx organization reflects after decades of activism
When activist Julio Rodriguez was 5 years old, a teacher forced him to stand up in class and choose another name—maybe John, she suggested, since people couldn't pronounce "Julio." By the time he got home, he ...

Gay News

South Side LGBTQ+ center projected to break ground next summer, open early 2024
The $15-million LGBTQ+ center slated for creation on the city's South Side is in phase two of an anticipated five phases to completion, with a projected 2024 opening, according to stakeholders. Illinois state Rep. Lamont Robinson, ...

Gay News

Coming Out for LGBTQ+ History
October 11th is National Coming Out Day, a day established in 1988 by members of the LGBTQ+ community to encourage people to stop hiding and be open about their identity. Coming out increases visibility of the ...

Gay News

HRC marks National Coming Out Day with new resource for youth
On Oct. 11, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is commemorating the 33rd annual National Coming Out Day (NCOD) by announcing the release of a new resource, "Online Communities and LGBTQ+ Youth." "National Coming Out Day exists ...

Gay News

LGBT History Month: Reclaiming 41, journey to heal notorious trauma for LGBT Mexicans
Until recently, Alberto B. Mendoza hated 41. He cringed if his dinner bill or hotel room number had the number in it, and with the countdown to his 41st birthday, he dreaded the year to come. ...

Gay News

Sally Ride to be among women on U.S. coins next year
The United States Mint announced the official designs for the first five coins in the American Women Quarters Program. The 2022 coins will recognize the achievements of author/social activist Maya Angelou; physicist/astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, a ...

Gay News

Howard Brown's 'Big Orange Ball' on Oct. 23
Howard Brown Health will hold its annual Big Orange Ball virtually Saturday, Oct. 23, 8-9 p.m. The event will then be shown On-Demand through Sunday, Oct. 31, at midnight. This year, people can kick off Halloween ...

Gay News

Affinity's 'Virtual Black Gold' on Oct. 23
Affinity Community Services—a social-justice organization serving the needs of the Black LGBTQ+ community, with a particular focus on Black women—will hold its "Virtual Black Gold" casino event Saturday, Oct. 23. ...

Gay News

Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, in 30th year, holds induction ceremony at Sidetrack
The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, celebrating its 30th year, held its annual induction ceremony for 2021 inductees October 6 at Sidetrack, sponsored by Sidetrack, J&L Catering, Rick Aguilar Photography, and Dalila Fridi and Elizabeth McNight. ...

Gay News

30th Annual AIDS Run & Walk raises more than $400K
CHICAGO — More than 1,800 advocates, community partners, runners, walkers, volunteers, staff members and more gathered at Soldier Field on Oct. 2 for the 30th annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago. The event raised approximately $420,000 ...


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.







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.