Chicago, IL —
Chicago's Advisory Council on LGBT Issues is being merged with the city's Advisory Council on Women's Issues into a new council on Gender and Sexuality, which has a lot of people upset and concerned.
Illinois' The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA) Executive Director Anthony Martinez said that Mayor Rahm Emanuel's move – which he blames on the budget – is wiping out decades of progress in Chicago.
"The restructuring of the Advisory Council on LGBT Issues is just one more example of how the administration seems to not be interested in these hard fought gains," Martinez said.
TCRA is also concerned about the removal of the words "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Gender" from the Council.
"How is a young LGBT person who needs to turn to the city for help if say, they are kicked out of their house for being gay, to understand that they should contact the Council on Gender and Sexuality?" Martinez said.
The reorganization also means that LGBT director William Greaves is out of a job starting Jan. 1, said the Windy City Times. Overall, TCRA said the budget of the agencies under Chicago's "Community Services" are being cut 19 percent.
"Chicago is already far below what other major cities in the U.S. allocate to similar agencies. New York spends more than double what Chicago spends, and Washington D.C. spends over ten times that amount," Martinez said.