Judy Baar Topinka to be named “Friend of the Community” (Posthumous) in Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame Virtual 2020 Ceremony on October 13, 2020
The late Judy Baar Topinka was there for the LGBTQ community when that community was only a blip on the political radar screen. She supported the LGBTQ causes when it was politically risky for anyone…Democrat or Republican or whomever…to be associated with the movement. The fact that she did so as a Republican showed an incredible amount of political courage. During an interview she even stated “I will put my LGBT credentials up against ANYBODY – I was supporting this before it was fashionable. And as a Republican, when we have a whole sector of our party that doesn’t really care for this stuff….”
Judy Baar Topinka was not only supportive in words, she was supportive in her actions. For example, she supported the Illinois’ Marriage Equality Bill. During a November 20, 2013 ceremony at the University of Illinois at Chicago where the state’s marriage equality bill was signed into law, Judy Baar Topinka — the only Republican speaker at the event — delivered a moving speech and even stated that “it takes both parties to make something happen and when we work together, look what we can do!”
During the speech, she further stated that she would offer to be a flower girl “and will even waive the fee” at any upcoming same-sex weddings. Another example was how she opened her office to Equality Illinois’ delegation on the groups annual Springfield lobbying days. Still another example was her perennial attendance at Chicago’s Pride Parade and Equality Illinois’ annual galas.
In summary, one longtime LGBT rights activist put it best when he said Judy Baar Topinka was “a consistent and firm supporter of gay rights. Even when attacked by members of her own party for her gay-rights support, she never wavered.”
She was truly a friend of the LGBTQ community.