LGBT community and leaders helped Emanuel win Chicago's mayoral race

Mon. April 11, 2011 4:01 PM by News Staff

emanuel receives endorsement of lgbt leadership

photo credit // anthony meade
Chicago, IL - Chicago's LGBT leaders helped fuel Rahm Emanuel's win as mayor, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington says in a piece published Monday.

Washington calls the 2011 election significant in the "evolution of Chicago's powerful arena of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender politics."

In January, over 200 LGBT and Allied community leaders gathered at the Center on Halsted to announce broad support for Emanuel.

He also received the support of the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Illinois Political Action Committee.

Emanuel won the citywide election in February, taking more than two-thirds of the vote in the 44th, 46th and 48th wards, which encompass neighborhoods with the largest LGBT population, including Boystown.

Windy City Times publisher and executive editor Tracy Baim said Emanuel appealed to an LGBT electorate that has grown "more sophisticated." Baim said though he's not perfect, LGBT voters felt Emanuel would be "a pit bull for Chicago."

Baim told Washington there are a number of critical challenges for Emanuel as he enters office, including increased citywide AIDS education and prevention, transgender rights and homelessness among LGBT youth.

Emanuel, who will be sworn into office next month, replaces Mayor Richard M. Daley, who after 21 years as one of the nation's most gay-friendly mayors decided not to seek reelection.