Remembering Judy Baar Topinka
Statement by Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois
December 10, 2014
The people of Illinois today lost a true original. Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka brightened every room she entered with her engaging laugh, and LGBT Illinoisans were included in her warm embrace.
As a Republican statewide officeholder, Comptroller Topinka was a leader in supporting issues important to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans and demonstrating that equality and fairness were bipartisan concerns. She endorsed the freedom to marry during last year’s debate and civil unions before that. At the signing ceremony for the marriage bill, she even offered to serve as a flower girl at any same-sex wedding that would have her.
When Equality Illinois held its regular lobbying days in Springfield, Topinka and her office opened their doors to the delegation to make them feel that the Capitol was truly our home, too.
Equality Illinois will always remember her regular presence at our annual galas, where Comptroller Topinka regularly received rousing receptions from the appreciative crowd. She was a welcomed presence at Chicago’s Pride Parade, and many other LGBT events.
Judy Baar Topinka demonstrated that political labels should not be a barrier to reaching out to all citizens. We will miss her.
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