Equality Illinois mourns the passing of former Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne.
Mayor Byrne was a pioneer. The first and only woman elected mayor in Chicago, she recognized the LGBT diversity of the city.
Mayor Byrne proclaimed the first Gay Pride Parade Day in the city in 1981 and was the first major political figure to appear in the city’s Pride Parade in 1985. She also ended police raids on gay bars, issued the first executive order ending discrimination in city employment practices and supported a gay rights ordinance.
Mayor Byrne set the standard for public officials in the city and the state as the first to publicly build a bridge to the LGBT community.