Rahm Emanuel's Budget Cuts LGBT Council
When Rahm Emanuel was running for mayor of Chicago, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community overwhelmingly supported the Democratic candidate, but the cheering stopped Friday when the Mayor announced his budget was dismantling the city's LGBT Advisory Council.
The council will now be merged with one on Women's Issues, combing the two into a Council on Gender and Sexuality. Gay rights advocates are calling the move disrespectful and a step backwards.
"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," Executive Director of Illinois' The Civil Rights Agenda Anthony Martinez was quoted as saying in Chicago Pride.
The groups are upset that in the new council, words that name sexuality, such as lesbian or gay, won't be in the council's title. Current members and their supporters are also upset that the group wasn't consulted before the budget decision was announced.
"Where is the transparency? Who is making these decisions? Why is City Hall silent with regards to process? There are all questions that deserve an answer," Lowell Jaffe, political director for The Civil Rights Agenda said in a statement quoted in Chicago Pride.