The Agenda

Victory honors Illinois game-changers at Chicago reception

Illinois – especially this past year – has been a leading state on ensuring LGBTQ rights and extending protections to the LGBTQ community. Gender identity was added to Illinois hate crime statutes. The Youth Mental Health Protection Act, which banned conversion therapy, passed in the Illinois House and unanimously in the Illinois Senate. In Spring elections, the Chicago City Council added two new openly LGBTQ members, making 10 percent of the council openly LGBTQ. Nearly 75 percent of all Illinois voters support legal recognition of same-sex relationships—a 25 percent leap in only two years.
This advances would have been impossible if not for two outstanding openly LGBTQ elected officials who paved the way for LGBTQ rights. On Sunday, September 27, Victory honored Illinois state Representative Kelly Cassidy and Chicago City Council Alderman Tom Tunney at its Windy City Toasts reception (pictured) with the Victory Leadership Award.
Representative Kelly Cassidy has been a champion for LGBTQ rights in the Illinois House since taking office in 2011. She worked hard to ensure new anti-bullying laws were fully inclusive of LGBTQ students. After sharing her personal experience of being in a mother with her partner, Illinois welcomed marriage equality a year before the Supreme Court decision, proving that when openly LGBTQ people are elected, they can make a difference for all LGBTQ people.
Alderman Tom Tunney has paved the way for an LGBTQ-inclusive Chicago City Council ever since becoming the first openly LGBTQ member in 2003. His efforts have expanded the Broadway Youth Center, which provides services citywide to LGBTQ youth. For the first time, Chicago has a LGBTQ Caucus in its City Council, comprised of the five openly LGBTQ aldermen. This caucus will address issues specific to the LGBTQ Chicago community, including issues within healthcare, homelessness and education.
It has always been Victory’s mission to help elect openly LGBTQ officials. We know that these officials use their position create the changes LGBTQ citizens everywhere need. Representative Kelly Cassidy and Alderman Tom Tunney have made an undeniable impact in their communities, and Victory is proud to honor them and their work.

Local, State Legislature