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
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

POLITICS Mike Quigley talks VA, Trump and the 2017 Congress
by Gretchen Rachel Hammond
2016-11-23

This article shared 445 times since Wed Nov 23, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley ( D-Ill. ) has been a fierce champion of LGBTQ rights on Capitol Hill.

Vice-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Caucus and founding member of the Transgender Equality Taskforce created last year, Quigley has led the charge on issues ranging from lifting Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) prohibitions on gay and bisexual men donating blood to marriage equality and transgender rights.

However, with Donald Trump's Electoral College win on Nov. 8 alongside a Republican-controlled Congress, the always uphill climb for Quigley and his colleagues has become decidedly steeper.

Anti-LGBT signals are already coming from the incoming Trump administration with the appointment of Sen. Jeff Sessions ( R-Ala. ) as attorney general along with rabid opponent of LGBT rights Vice President-elect Mike Pence overseeing the transition team.

Meanwhile, the Veterans Administration ( VA ) announced it would no longer proceed with a plan to cover gender-confirmation surgeries for the nearly 150,000 transgender military veterans who rely upon its services.

In a statement released Nov. 17, Quigley stated, "Our transgender veterans serve our country with the upmost courage and commitment, and they deserve the medical care needed to lead happy, healthy lives."

"I am extremely disappointed by the VA's announcement to withdraw their plan to offer medical procedures to treat gender dysphoria, a change I was proud to support earlier this year," he added. "Outdated and discriminatory restrictions should not interfere with our service members' receipt of fair treatment and quality care."

Quigley also spoke with Windy City Times on what the 115th Congress, a Trump administration and a possible anti-LGBT Supreme Court nomination will mean for both the work of his caucus and LGBT civil rights in 2017 and beyond.

Windy City Times: Democrats are clearly reeling from the election results. What are you doing to regroup at this point?

Mike Quigley: Well, you're right. I've never personally won an election by 40 votes and, at the end of the night, felt like I had lost by 40 votes. We had a meeting with the caucus, [House] leader [Nancy] Pelosi and the rest of the leadership team. It's as simple as getting up every morning, going to work and working on the issues we always have. We have to remember that Mrs. Clinton won the popular vote. Three states that were 1 percent ( and Florida was close ) determined the electoral process. You combine the fact that perhaps the Clinton campaign team should have focused more on Michigan and Wisconsin, the [FBI Director James] Comey stuff and the issues of healthcare costs, and it was a perfect storm at the end.

How do we regroup? You rebuild, learn from what took place and move forward. You see what common ground, if any, you have with the new administration and then you work together and, where there's differences, you fight as hard as you possibly can.

WCT: A lot of people in the community are concerned about these cabinet appointments.

MQ: The appointment [of Steve Bannon] was as disturbing as any of it. Our next vice president signed a draconian anti-LGBTQ religious-liberty law just last year, he supported conversion therapy as a member of Congress, he said that marriage equality would lead to societal collapse and his words were "homosexuality is a choice." That is scary stuff for a guy who is leading the transition team and who some are calling "the rational voice in the room."

WCT: Are there enough moderate Republicans in the Senate that extremist appointments could be blocked?

MQ: I don't know what the Republican strategy is going to be. You've heard of the nuclear option [overruling a 60-vote confirmation by a majority vote]. Do I think there's some rational Republicans over there? Yeah. Do I think they have enough courage to balk the Tea Party and a president popular within his own party? I don't know and that's what concerns me.

While I was somewhat encouraged by the president-elect's comments on marriage equality that it remains the law of the land, when he appoints an arch-conservative [to the Supreme Court], which apparently he is of a mind to do, that man or woman is there for life and they're not going to call President Trump and say "How do you want me to vote on this?" If you're an archconservative on issues, it's unlikely that the one issue you're going to be liberal on is marriage equality, no matter what the president says.

WCT: What about Trump's threat to strike down executive orders?

MQ: This has been the worst Congress in the history of the United States on the environment. While it is not an issue specific to the community, it's important to all of us and [Trump] can strike all of those things down. He can walk away from the Paris Treaty. By appropriations internally and appointments, he can do a tremendous amount of damage.

Everything the president has tried to do dealing with immigration and refugee issues, Trump can tell State "we're not bringing anybody over."

I was in the [refugee] camps in Jordan and I saw, first-hand, the problems that exist there and the kind of country we should be. [Trump] can reject all of that. With an arch-conservative House and Senate, it's going to be very hard for me, as the only appropriator in Illinois, to help us with the things that we care about: HIV funding, research needs, aid to people with HIV; dozens of appropriation matters that are going to make a big difference to us. Three more states won in the Senate would have made a world of difference. It keeps me up at night,

WCT: Is there any counter-strategy at all being discussed?

MQ: We don't know just what the new president will do and how far he will go. We don't know how House and Senate Republicans will act as a body, how unified they will be. Our job is to appeal to the American public and those moderate sensibilities to not go back in time and reduce these rights that exist and then focus on the Senate and the House in 2018. Our job is to message, to fight with every vote we have and leverage every vote we have.

It's hard to imagine that the Tea Party people are going to be happy about raising the debt ceiling. My job is to leverage every time the White House needs Democratic support to the maximum extent possible; to protect individual rights, the environment, a woman's right to choose; all the things that are our core principles. Also to drive resources back to Chicago. [Trump] has said there will be no federal aid to sanctuary cities. My answer is "Oh, yeah?" We are going to devise every strategy possible to leverage whatever influence we have to push the new president, House and Senate Republicans to do the right thing. We're working on it. We're doing the best we can. It's a painful lesson that elections matter.

WCT: A lot of folks want to run in 2018 as outsiders or Democrats to try and turn Trump into a lame duck after two years. Feasible?

MQ: I would always encourage as many people as possible to get involved, to the greatest extent possible, in politics; voter registration and education programs, recruiting candidates, being a candidate. Being a state rep or senator, alderman or county commissioner, being on your local school council matters. I would strongly encourage everyone to get involved and not to give up. You give up and all hope is lost.


This article shared 445 times since Wed Nov 23, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

FDA pushed to end discriminatory tissue donation policy
2021-11-30
--From a press release - Chicago, IL. — U.S Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL), Joe Neguse (D-CO), David Cicilline (D-RI), and U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Elizabeth Warren ...


Gay News

State Rep. Greg Harris not seeking re-election
2021-11-29
Illinois state Rep. Greg Harris—the first openly gay and HIV-positive state leader in the General Assembly—announced that he won't seek re-election and will leave the House when his term expires in early 2023, The Chicago Tribune ...


Gay News

Mike Simmons among LGBTQ Victory Fund-endorsed candidates
2021-11-29
Incumbent Illinois state Sen. Mike Simmons was among the political candidates that the LGBTQ Victory Fund backed in its latest round of endorsements. LGBTQ Victory Fund—the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ+ leaders to public ...


Gay News

Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce elects first Black LGBTQ president in organization's history
2021-11-24
In November, the Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce elected Darien Marion-Burton to serve as the organization's first Black LGBTQ president. Marion-Burton will begin his role in January 2022 and said he's excited to bring a ...


Gay News

DuPage Democrat employee resigns after Wisconsin parade posts
2021-11-23
Mary Lemanski resigned from her role as social-media manager of the Democratic Party of DuPage County after being criticized for insensitive tweets she made about the parade tragedy in Waukesha, Wisconsin, according to NCTV17.com. In now-deleted ...


Gay News

WORLD HIV case, Ireland items, Kim Petras, actress' illness
2021-11-21
A woman in Argentina has become only the second documented person whose own immune system may have cured her of HIV, NBC News noted. Researchers have dubbed the 30-year-old mother, who was first diagnosed with HIV ...


Gay News

NATIONAL N.Y. governor, GLSEN report, flower shop, political items
2021-11-21
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a pair of LGBTQ-related bills aimed at protecting sex-trafficking survivors as well as requiring utility and telephone companies to respect customers' preferred pronouns, The New York Post reported. One of ...


Gay News

DNC makes statement on Transgender Day of Remembrance
2021-11-20
--From a Democratic National Committee press release - DNC Chair Jaime Harrison and DNC LGBTQ Caucus Chair Earl Fowlkes released the following statement to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance (Nov. 20): "This Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor the lives lost due to anti-trans ...


Gay News

Rainbow Railroad plans 'When I Am Free' benefit concert to get LGBTQI+s to safety
2021-11-20
--From a press release. Videos below - Chicago, IL (November 12, 2021) - The annual Chicago 5 Lives Fundraiser hosted by Rainbow Railroad is proud to return this year with "When I Am Free", a benefit concert offering attendees a premier evening of ...


Gay News

COVID U.S. opens boosters for all adults
2021-11-20
On Nov. 19, the United States, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), allowed COVID-19 booster shots for all adults and took the extra step of urging people 50 and older to seek one, ...


Gay News

Four LGBTQ leaders to be inducted into LGBTQ Victory Hall of Fame
2021-11-20
--From a press release - Washington, DC — LGBTQ Victory Institute announced it will induct four political leaders into the 2021 class of the LGBTQ Victory Hall of Fame, which honors the LGBTQ elected officials, appointed officials and candidates who made ...


Gay News

HHS acts to prevent discrimination, strengthen civil rights
2021-11-19
--From a press release - Washington D.C. — Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and Office for Civil Rights (OCR), announced actions to further ...


Gay News

IL General Assembly LGBTQ Caucus condemns Proud Boys led censorship in Downers Grove
2021-11-19
--From a press release - CHICAGO - The five openly LGBTQ members of the Illinois General Assembly today call on Downers Grove District 99 to protect LGBTQ youth in their community from hate and censorship by immediately rejecting calls to censor ...


Gay News

Bishops approve paper that falls short of denying Communion to pro-choice Biden
2021-11-18
--From a press release - On Nov. 17, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted overwhelmingly to approve a document that fell short of refusing Holy Communion to President Joe Biden or others who support abortion rights—something conservatives in the Church ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ equality in nine Illinois municipalities detailed in Human Rights Campaign Index
2021-11-18
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, in partnership with The ...


 



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


 



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.