Rally at Daley Plaza, 1986

April 22nd, 2011by Jessica Herczeg-KonecnyFiled under: Collections, Exhibitions

Rally at Daley Plaza, 1986, i39699

During the 1970s activists began pushing for a gay-rights law in Chicago. This legislation bans anti-LGBT bias in areas such as jobs and housing. The City Council voted against a proposed bill in 1979 and twice again in 1986. This photograph is from a rally in support of the bill in Daley Center Plaza on July 27, 1986. The rally was one of the largest demonstrations in Chicago’s LGBT history. Even though the bill did not pass, people continued to mobilize and four organizers lead the way in the fight for another vote in 1988. Jon-Henri Damski, Laurie Dittman, Rick Garcia and Art Johnston were known as the “Gang of Four” who helped coordinate the activists and organizations. After a defeat in September, the City Council finally passed the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance on December 12, 1988. On November 6, 2002, the Ordinance was amended to include the term “gender identity.”

The Chicago Human Rights Ordinance reads, in part
The City Council of the city of Chicago hereby declares and affirms:

  • That prejudice, intolerance, bigotry and discrimination occasioned thereby threaten the rights and proper privileges of the city’s inhabitants and menace the institutions and foundation of a free and democratic society; and
  • That behavior which denies equal treatment to any individual because of his or her race, color, sex, gender identity, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military discharge status, or source of income undermines civil order and deprives persons of the benefits of a free and open society.

> Learn more about the Out in Chicago exhibition

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