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

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Joseph Baar Topinka preserves legacy of mother: Pro-gay Republican Judy
by Matt Simonette
2020-09-02

This article shared 2391 times since Wed Sep 2, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Riverside resident Joseph Baar Topinka is still impressed with the resolve and stamina with which his late mother, longtime GOP politician Judy Baar Topinka, was able to "slug it out" in the political arena.

"She got into the moment," Joseph said, remembering, for example, how Judy could stand in front of crowds who, from time to time, booed her opinions.

"You can boo me, but you're booing the truth," she would answer.

Judy passed away in late 2014, just weeks after being re-elected to her post as the Illinois state comptroller, and Joseph has spent much time and energy since then fighting to preserve his mother's legacy.

"I don't want my mother relegated to a strange footnote—she was a lot better than that," he explained. Joseph, who is an attorney, published a book about Judy's life story in 2018, Just Judy: A Citizen and Leader for Illinois, and spearheaded an effort to have her included in the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, to which she was posthumously named a Friend of the Community in 2020 ( and will be honored with other inductees, including Windy City Times, Tuesday, Oct. 13 ).

A former journalist and communications professional, Judy occupied many roles in Illinois politics, among them turns as a state representative and state treasurer. She made an unsuccessful bid for the governor's office in 2006, losing to incumbent Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Judy ran on the Republican ticket, but Joseph said that was mainly because Riverside, where she lived, did not have Democratic party leadership to speak of. Joseph maintains that she was more of a populist than a partisan.

He said, "If my mother were alive today, and you asked her about our binary political system, she would say the same thing I will tell you: It's dysfunctional. It's totally dysfunctional."

Judy often said to Joseph: "I could easily be a Democrat or I could easily be a Republican."

She was fiscally conservative—Judy administered the state's finances during some of its darkest fiscal hours—but was pro-LGBT rights and pro-choice at a time when her colleagues in the GOP were adopting more intolerant, far-right stances on those issues.

"Jeepers, gay people are people," Judy told Windy City Times just prior to her 2014 re-election. "There's rights under the constitution—everybody's supposed to have them—and it bugs me when folks pick on gays or anybody else. I have a lot of gay people working in my office; they're wonderful employees. We don't single them out, or anything; they're just part of the family."

In November 2013, at the ceremony during which Gov. Pat Quinn signed marriage equality into law, Judy jokingly offered to be the flower girl at all the marriage ceremonies that were sure to come the following year, a comment that resulted in her drawing the ire of local right-wing media.

"She was dedicated to [the LGBTQ] community when she didn't have to be," Joseph recalled. "She was dedicated to that community when it was not the 'norm' for a Republican. She was dedicated to that community until her death"

His biography of his mother's life was intended not just as a remembrance of her but also as a tool for civics education.

"Illinois now requires civics training by law, and this fall, elementary schools are being required to have civics training [as well]," he explained. "I want that book in every school. The experiences in that book can help young people."

Now that Judy has been recognized by the LGBT Hall of Fame, Joseph would like to see her named to the Order of Lincoln, which recognizes the accomplishments of notable Illinoisans. He often laments the seeming lack of populists in politics these days.

"Do we even know what 'populist' means anymore, and do we even have leaders like that?" he asked. "If we don't, maybe we should, and maybe my mother is a lesson for others."


This article shared 2391 times since Wed Sep 2, 2020
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

Bill would expose schools that discriminate against LGBTQ students
2021-07-29
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (MA-5) and Representatives Chris Pappas (NH-1), Sharice Davids (KS-3), and Mondaire Jones (NY-17) introduced the Exposing Discrimination in ...


Gay News

Pappas introduces legislation to establish LGBTQ veterans advisory committee
2021-07-29
--From a press release - Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01), a member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, introduced legislation to establish an ...


Gay News

VIEWS U.S. Senators: It's time to act against anti-LGBTQ discrimination
2021-07-28
Georgia has had the eyes of the nation on it for some time now. It's just over five years since people across Georgia braced themselves as lawmakers sent sweeping anti-LGBTQ legislation to the desk of then-Governor ...


Gay News

Gay Calif. donor convicted in deaths of two Black men
2021-07-28
On July 27, a federal jury convicted wealthy California political donor Ed Buck, 66, on charges he injected gay men with methamphetamine in exchange for sex, leading to two deaths and other overdoses, CBS News reported. ...


Gay News

Report: LGBTQ elected officials up by 17% in past year; 28,116 more would be equitable representation
2021-07-28
--From a Victory Institute press release - Out for America 2021 report finds 986 out LGBTQ elected officials nationwide; Black LGBTQ elected officials increased by 75% in the past year; Mississippi is only state in the nation with zero known LGBTQ elected officials ...


Gay News

Lightfoot: Mask mandates may return to Chicago
2021-07-27
People may not want to toss those face masks. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told The New York Times she will consider reinstating a mask mandate and other restrictions if the city starts to consistently record more ...


Gay News

Pelosi names Kinzinger to Jan. 6 committee
2021-07-25
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced July 25 that she has appointed U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) to the House select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, bolstering the Republican presence on ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Writer, attorney, activist Takeia R. Johnson
2021-07-25
The local organization Affinity Community Services announced the recent passing of Takeia R. Johnson. According to Johnson's LinkedIn profile, she was editor-in-chief and lead writer at Inclusion at Work as well as a Ph.D. student focusing ...


Gay News

WORLD Marriage in Chile, Polish website, Toronto news, 'Reclaim Pride' march
2021-07-25
On July 21, Chile's Senate approved an equal-marriage bill, DW.com reported. The regulations were presented during the second government of the socialist Michelle Bachelet (2014-2018) and last June 1, during ...


Gay News

NATIONAL California cases, trans woman killed, Pride staircase, sports law
2021-07-25
Proponents of Proposition 8 have to file a brief on or before Aug. 16 to show they have standing to appeal a district court decision to release tapes of the landmark Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial that ...


Gay News

Hungarian protesters defy prime minister with sizable march
2021-07-25
In Hungary, approximately 30,000 people joined the annual Pride celebrations in the capital of Budapest on July 24, with attendees marching in colorful outfits in support of inclusion and freedom, according to CNN.com. However, this year ...


Gay News

Gina Ortiz Jones, Shawn Skelly confirmed by U.S. Senate; both make LGBTQ history
2021-07-22
--From a press release - Washington, DC — The United States Senate today confirmed two historic LGBTQ presidential nominees by unanimous consent. Gina Ortiz Jones, confirmed for Under Secretary of the Air Force, will be the first out lesbian to serve ...


Gay News

U.S. House resolution apologizes to LGBTQ service members, civilian workers
2021-07-22
A new resolution introduced in the U.S. House apologizes for the federal government's treatment of LGBTQ federal civilian workers and U.S. service members, who were once subject to expulsion from their positions because of their sexual ...


Gay News

Chicago City Council approves civilian oversight for police
2021-07-22
On July 21, the Chicago City Council approved a controversial civilian oversight panel, giving the public more control over Chicago police following years of protests about law enforcement misconduct, The Chicago Tribune reported. The vote was ...


Gay News

Research: LGBTQ people of color meet more discrimination, Equality Act an urgent need
2021-07-21
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Discrimination inflicts profoundly greater harm on LGBTQ people of color in a wide range of areas, according to recent analysis of scholarly research released by the National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for ...


 



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.