New Illinois State Rep., lesbian with 3 adopted kids, will fight bigotry of Catholic Charities

Kelly Cassidy is a newly elected State Representative in Illinois. She is also a lesbian — and the mother of three adopted children. She’ll be the only gay parent in the State legislature. And, she’s not going to let the Catholic Church and Catholic Charities discriminate against gay parents. From Gary Barlow at Now In Gay Chicago:

The lesbian mother of three adopted children, Cassidy is well aware of what’s at stake.

“To have your family’s value questioned in a public forum is just mind-boggling to me,” Cassidy said. “As the only gay parent down there I have no intention of letting them do this.”

Catholic Charities gets about $30 million per year from the state of Illinois to provide foster care and adoption services for some 3,000 children. Catholic lobbyists have been trying to pass legislation this spring to give Catholic Charities and other religious-affiliated, state-funded agencies the right to turn away gay and lesbian couples after June 1. That’s when the state’s civil unions law takes effect, giving gay and lesbian couples in civil unions the same rights, at far as the state goes, enjoyed by married couples.

That means adoption agencies funded by state dollars won’t be able to discriminate against those gay and lesbian couples unless Catholic lobbyists are successful in getting an exemption through the Legislature.

“I simply don’t see the need to compromise over the legitimacy of our families,” Cassidy said.

There should be no compromise. And, no public money should fund discrimination.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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