The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Chicagoans Rally In Solidarity With D.C. March

By Joseph Erbentraut in News on Oct 12, 2009 8:40PM

Photo by chloeloe
Some 250 Chicagoans braved both the cold weather and Marathon madness to converge on Daley Plaza in a solidarity rally for the National Equality March Sunday, which also just happened to be National Coming Out Day.

The rally, sponsored by LGBT Change, featured a number of prominent leaders, activists and politicos who spoke for just over an hour to the small-but-mighty crowd of folks who couldn't make it to the march on Washington (which attracted an estimated 150,000). Speakers included the state's highest ranking openly gay public official, Rep. Greg Harris, in addition to two openly gay candidates - Jim Madigan (running for State Senate) and Gerald Farinas (who intends to challenge for 46th Ward Alderman). Others who addressed the crowd included community activists Peter Ji (president of PFLAG Illinois) and Kim Hunt (executive director of Affinity Community Services).

The rally spoke to the frustrations held by many in the LGBT community that the change promised on the campaign trail by Obama is coming too slowly, despite continued rhetorical promises.

"We need to come together in our state, not just in Washington, but here in Illinois, and go with one unified voice to say to our lawmakers that we are a part of the human condition, you cannot weed us out, we will not go away and you need to change these laws now," Madigan instructed the crowd.

Harris also spoke to the importance of building coalitions with other progressive groups to encourage lawmakers to sponsor pro-LGBT legislation. "Our struggle is to work together to achieve equal rights and pursue a progressive public policy in the state of Illinois."

Still feeling impatient/angry/unequal? The activism continues next Tuesday, Oct. 20, at the Lincoln Park Public Library, 1150 W. Fullerton, with a march "reportback" discussion cosponsored by LGBT Change and Join The Impact Chicago.