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 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Local news in 2012: a look back
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2012-12-31

This article shared 1365 times since Mon Dec 31, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


National activists have hailed 2012 as a landmark year for LGBT rights, and Chicago has been no exception. The Windy City had its fill of LGBT triumphs (and some tragedies) over the past year. Here are our biggest headlines from 2012:

—Marriage momentum: Marriage equality in Illinois is the prediction for 2013, after a stunning year of progress by LGBT advocates. State Rep. Greg Harris is poised to call for a vote on a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois.

Also pushing for marriage equality are Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union. Both organizations filed suit against Cook County Clerk David Orr, seeking to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage on behalf of 25 couples. Orr refused to defend the ban as did State's Attorney Anita Alvarez and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Five other county clerks are intervening to fight the lawsuits.

—Health assurance: Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) continued to recover its finances and its reputation, more than two years after the discovery of misused grants rocked the organization. HBHC settled its debts with federal funders, paying out $715,000. The organization remains in "good standing" with the federal government.

Questions were raised about whether or not the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study would remain at HBHC following a dispute with Northwestern University over the release of patient information. Broadway Youth Center announced it was moving from its old home at Belmont and Broadway.

Staff changes continued to sweep the organization, including a change in leadership. Embattled CEO Jamal Edwards stepped down. Former Board Chair Karma Israelsen is filling in while HBHC conducts a new leadership search.

—Election gains: LGBTs fared well in local elections this November. In one of the most-watched races among LGBT Illinoisans, Sam Yingling became the first openly gay rep elected outside of Chicago, besting Republican Sandy Cole. Openly gay Rep. Deb Mell carried a strong leader over Republican challenger Antoinette "Toni" Puccio-Johnson. Judge Andrea Schleifer, another out gay candidate, bested Republican James Pieczonka for the Cook County 12th Subcircuit Rochford vacancy.

John Dalton became the first openly gay judge elected outside of Chicago, defeating Republican John Waters in the race for the 16th Circuit seat in Kane County. John Ehrlich, an openly gay judicial candidate, ran unopposed for the Cook County 8th Subcircuit Cole vacancy. Debra Shore, the out gay commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, led a pack of eight in both city and Cook County elections and will be staying in office.

—Playing chicken: Chicago became the most-watched battleground in a seemingly unending national debate over chicken sandwiches and homophobia this summer. After Chick-fil-A head Dan Cathy stated that his company was "guilty as charged" of opposing gay marriage, Chicago Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno vowed to block the chain from moving into his ward until the company ceased donations to anti-gay groups and announced anti-discrimination policies. Moreno later declared victory, but Chick-fil-A said it had not changed policies.

—TransLife center: Renowned HIV service organization Chicago House announced that it would be serving a new population in the coming months: transgender people. The organization is in the process of opening new housing in the city's Edgewater neighborhood. The organization will also offer myriad transgender services in the house's lower level. Chicago House staff have all been trained to better serve transgender people, and the organization has added transgender voices to its board.

—From the Hart: Chicago's LGBT library moved from Edgewater to Rogers Park, but not without difficulty. A Windy City Times investigation revealed that Gerber/Hart Library and Archives had become estranged from the community that built it, while questions about its compliance with non-profit law emerged.

Karen Sendziak, former board president, stepped down amid the controversy, and the library adopted new bylaws that stripped member voting rights. The organization held a closed annual meeting in December, but that meeting did not include board elections. The library has yet to reopen, as its new home is under construction.

—TGIF: Chicago saw its first-ever transgender pride event in 2012. "Transgender, Gender Non-conforming Intersex Freedom" debuted in Union Park in July. The afternoon picnic featured performances by transgender people, tabling and a rally. Lead organizer KOKUMO has said the event will be an annual tradition.

—Healthy Chicago: City officials unveiled a new plan that aims to improve LGBT health. The "LGBT Community Action Plan" will target prevalence of smoking, lack of culturally competent medical care, hate violence against transgender people, HIV and obesity. The plan is part of the city's "Healthy Chicago" initiative.

—Coming to one's census: The Chicago Community Trust and the Morten Group presented data from the LGBT Needs Assessment, providing the fist study of Chicago's LGBT community in nearly a decade. Access to healthcare, unemployment and underemployment, access to government rights and services, discrimination and safety were among the top issues facing the community.

—LPAC: Billing itself as the first of its kind, the Lesbian Political Action Committee (LPAC) launched June 11 with the backing of prominent Chicagoans. Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts, Chicago-area native Jane Lynch and Chicagoan Sarah Schmidt, whose family owns U.S. Venture, were all involved.

—Homo-grown: In September, the Chicago Housing Authority approved a major contract for upcoming LGBT-friendly senior housing in Lakeview, totaling $29,124,000 over 30 years. The award went to Heartland Housing and Center on Halsted, which are collaborating to bring 79 LGBT-affirming units to 3600 N. Halsted St. The project has been years in the making and is expected to open in late spring of 2014. The property houses the former historic 23rd Dist. Town Hall Police Station, which will be persevered.

—Equality's expansion: LGBT-policy organization Equality Illinois announced an expansion to Springfield and Chicago's western suburbs. The organization is opening two satellite offices in Springfield and in DuPage County.

—Proud control: Chicago's Annual Pride Parade kicked off without a hitch this year with a new route and the heaviest attendance in its more than four-decade history. Officials had fretted over whether or not the new route would curb overcrowding problems seen in 2011.

—HIV totals: A report recently put out by the Chicago Department of Public Health shows that HIV rates among men who have sex with men rose in 2011 but that testing and linkage to care did as well. HIV prevalence rates among MSMs in 2011 were 20.9 percent, up from 2008, when the rate was 18.1 percent.

—Police trans-formation: After two years of pushing by local activists, the Chicago Police Department quietly adopted a general order in August that mandates the respect treatment of transgender by police. Activists celebrated the new policy but said they want significant improvements to the document as well as better oversight to make sure it is followed.

—Mayors for marriage: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel signed onto a nationwide campaign in support of same-sex marriage, joining more than 70 other mayors to do so in a massive push for marriage equality. The "Mayors for the Freedom to Marry" launch Jan. 20 at the Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington, D.C.

—Gimme shelter: A far North Side Church announced its intention to open a shelter for LGBTQ youth. Unity Church, 1925 W. Thome Ave., began planning for the shelter this summer after a pastor there met LGBTQ homeless youth in Lakeview and said he felt moved to act.

—Velvet Rope fire: Popular Oak Park gay bar, the Velvet Rope, was ravaged by a suspicious fire in June. Officials said that anti-gay graffiti was found spray-painted in the bar, and they ruled the fire arson. Rumors have swirled about the source of the fire, but Oak Park police have yet to announce an arrest.

—Crossroads: Chicago's Dykes on Bikes organization became an official chapter of the San Francisco Dykes on Bikes, making the riders a non-profit organization. The group had been working as an unofficial entity since 1987. The name "Dykes on Bikes" is a registered trademark of the San Francisco organization.

—Re-birth day: Illinois was forced to update its process for allowing transgender people to change their birth certificates after the American Civil Liberties Union slapped the state with a lawsuit on behalf of three trans people. Genital surgery is no longer a requirement for updating one's birth certificate, but surgery of some kind is still mandated.

—Shelter from the storm: Vida/SIDA open Chicago's first LGBTQ-specific youth shelter this March. El Rescate transitional housing, located in Humboldt Park, was designed to house a dozen youth ages 18-24.

—Repair therapy: Illinois became latest battleground state in a nationwide fight over "ex-gay" therapy in October when The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health and the American Psychoanalytic Association announced that they filed a licensing board complaint against a mental health professional practicing reparative therapy, a practice purported to change sexual orientation. The complaint, filed with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, advocates for the investigation of Paul McNulty, a Bloomingdale Illinois social worker.

—Flip-flop: An Aurora school district attracted national headlines after it changed course on plans to adopt a transgender student policy three times. East Aurora School District 131 adopted the protections this fall, voted to undo the policy just days later, set up a committee to re-write the protections and then disbanded that committee. LGBT advocates argue that the district caved to pressure from the Illinois Family Institute, an anti-gay group that strongly opposed the protections.

—Trans Rights Project: The Civil Rights Agenda announced its new Transgender Rights Project, a transgender-led group dedicated to policy advances and education. The group could become the only policy-focused transgender entity in the state; Illinois Gender Advocates, which currently fills that role, is considering disbanding.

—Testing behind bars: Cook County Jail resumed HIV and STD screenings, after years of pushing by AIDS advocate and Commissioner Bridget Gainer. Before 2007, the jail only provided tests to those who asked but discontinued that practice. The jail had initially announced that it would be providing opt-out testing in 2010. Two years later, the testing finally resumed with a new 22-room intake facility.

—Walk of names: In a historic moment for Chicago's LGBT community, the Legacy Walk, an outdoor walking LGBT history museum, was dedicated this October. Currently, 18 plaques tell the stories of LGBT leaders and other LGBT triumphs. The museum is the first of its kind. Hundreds attended a dedication ceremony of the plaques.


This article shared 1365 times since Mon Dec 31, 2012
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

NATIONAL Carl Bean dies, LGBT History Month, military events, Dykes on Bikes 2021-09-19
- Archbishop Carl Bean—an openly gay former Motown singer, longtime AIDS activist and leader in the LGBTQ church movement—died at age 77, The New York Daily News reported. In a statement entitled "The Giant Sleeps," the Unity ...


Gay News

Former bishop who pushed for LGBTQ+ inclusion dies at 90 2021-09-19
- Retired Newark Bishop John Shelby Spong—a best-selling author and cleric known for his progressive theology and his support of women and LGBTQ+ clergy in The Episcopal Church—has died at age 90, Episcopal News Service reported. "It ...


Gay News

Gavin Newsom wins Calif. recall election 2021-09-15
- On Sept. 14, California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom defeated a GOP-backed effort to remove him from office, media outlets reported. Speaking from Sacramento, Newsom thanked Californians for rejecting the recall effort, according to CNN.com. He also ...


Gay News

Former HRC President Alphonso David accuses organization of racism 2021-09-13
- Former Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Alphonso David opened up about the fallout from the investigation into former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) that eventually led to his own firing—and accused the HRC of racism, ...


Gay News

Dutch study: Transgender people face twice the odds for early deaths 2021-09-08
- A long-term Dutch study revealed that transgender people have double the odds of dying early compared to folks whose identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth (cisgender), according to the U.S. News & World ...


Gay News

Constand breaks silence about Bill Cosby 2021-09-07
- Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand is breaking her silence to NBC News about the comic/actor's release from prison two months ago, Deadline noted. In a brief clip, Constand tells Kate Snow she "was really shocked — ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Idol' alums, Zendaya, Gaga, 'Queer As Folk,' women rappers 2021-09-05
- American Idol alum David Archuleta said that God urged him to come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, NBC News noted. The Nashville resident told Today.com he wasn't sure if the community would embrace ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Calif. bill, lawsuits, Billy Porter, 'Southern LGBTQ Experiences' 2021-09-05
- The California legislature okayed a bill that would launch a pilot program to better track the gender identity and sexual orientation of victims of fatal violence, Gay City News noted. Under AB 1094, or the Sexual ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2021-08-16
- "It's wonderful so many have supported Britney! I've just heard the news! Wonderful things can happen when we stand together … but not too close because I have just learned that some of you do not ...


Gay News

Andrew Cuomo resigns amid allegations 2021-08-10
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced he is "stepping aside" from his office, according to CNN.com. After a news conference by his lawyer addressing sexual assault allegations, Cuomo said that he takes "full responsibility for ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Frank Ocean, NPH, Playboy-era film, Vogue model 2021-08-08
Miranda Lambert video below - Frank Ocean will headline Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2023—three years after he was originally supposed to, according to co-founder Paul Tollett, Billboard noted. The Goldenvoice CEO broke the news in an interview with ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Biden nominees, San Diego crime, HRC, Fox News contributor 2021-08-08
- President Joe Biden reappointed out lesbian Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum as a commissioner of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which is an advisory post pertaining to issues of religious freedom, Gay City News reported. ...


Gay News

Canadian becomes first out trans athlete to win Olympic medal 2021-08-07
- Canadian soccer star Quinn became the first openly transgender athlete to ever win an Olympic medal following their team's gold medal-winning win over Sweden on Aug. 6, NBC News reported. Canada's 3-2 win in penalty kicks ...


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

PrEP pills to be free for insured people 2021-07-25
- The U.S. government has stated that nearly all health insurers must cover the entire cost of HIV prevention treatments, according to U.S. News & World Report. That includes the two approved pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drugs Truvada ...


 



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.