Kelly Cassidy becomes Illinois' third LGBT legislator

Mon. May 16, 2011 5:07 PM by News Staff

rep. kelly cassidy sworn-in by justice mary jane theis

photo credit // tcra
Springfield, IL - Openly-lesbian Kelly Cassidy became Illinois' newest Representative during a swearing-in late Monday afternoon in the Illinois Supreme Court building. With a small group of LGBT leaders looking on, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis swore Cassidy in, as she becomes the third openly gay or lesbian legislator in the Illinois General Assembly.

"Standing in the Supreme Court with a small group of LGBT leaders, I felt the significance of Kelly's appointment," said Anthony Martinez Executive Director for The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA). "Not long ago, having an openly gay or lesbian legislator would have been unthinkable.  Now, Illinois has three -- and the first LGBT legislator with children."

Martinez, joined by Lowell Jaffe, Activist Rick Garcia, Chicago political leader Michael Bauer, and Avon Township Supervisor Sam Yingling, were in attendance for the 2:50 p.m. ceremony.

Once on the floor of the House of Representatives, Representative Greg Harris, as a point of personal privilege, stood and introduced his district mate, Representative Cassidy, as his "close personal friend for years."

"It is a personal honor and privilege to serve with all of you here. I am excited to start working. and as my father always told me, I plan to lead with two ears and follow with my mouth, because one should listen more than one speaks," Cassidy said as she addressed the House.

"I've known Kelly for years," said long-time LGBT activist Rick Garcia. "Springfield, the House, can be difficult to navigate but Kelly has the experience to hit the ground running. Her district and LGBT people throughout the State are lucky to have her."

TCRA is sponsoring a reception to honor Representative Cassidy this evening at The State House Inn in Springfield.