Chicago mayoral candidates fight for LGBTQ+ vote as Election Day approaches

'False and deeply offensive': LGBTQ+ groups want mayoral candidate Paul Vallas to remove political ad

Sarah Schulte Image
Saturday, February 25, 2023
LGBTQ+ groups want Paul Vallas to remove political ad as Chicago mayoral candidates vie for votes
Several LGBTQ+ groups are calling on Vallas to remove the ad, saying the candidate has recently attended some events with anti-LGBTQ voices.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's down to the wire campaigning for Paul Vallas, Lori Lightfoot and others as they all fight for the LGBTQ+ vote.

A campaign ad that touts Paul Vallas' support for domestic partner benefits at Chicago Public Schools and gay marriage years before the issues became politically popular has some LGBTQ+ groups, who have endorsed Lightfoot, furious.

"To see him out with an ad days before Election Day to say he is a champion of the community when, for the past year, he's been amplifying voices that despise us is both false and deeply offensive," said Brian Johnson, Equality Illinois CEO.

Equality Illinois, Victory Fund and LPAC are calling on Vallas to remove the ad. The groups said Vallas has recently attended some events with anti-LGBTQ voices, like Republican Jeanne Ives and FOP President John Cantazara.

"You can't have it both ways Paul. If you are going to hobnob for people who deny our dignity, we are going to call you out on it," Johnson said.

Vallas said he has no plans to pull the ad because his said his record on supporting LGBTQ+ rights is rock solid.

"They are basically pushing Lori Lightfoot, and Lori has lost support in the community because she has pretty much taken the community for granted," Vallas said.

Lightfoot has lost the support of city council's first openly gay alderman, Tom Tunney, who has endorsed Vallas.

"The Paul Vallas that I know, that I've endorsed -- I'm very comfortable with his positions and his future positions on LGBTQ trans," said Ald. Tunney, 44th Ward.

With a vote up for grabs, Lightfoot campaigned in Andersonville Friday afternoon. She visited an LGBTQ+-owned business as she fights to keep support from a community that helped elect her four years ago.

Vallas is convinced he will get more of the LGBTQ vote than his opponents because Vallas says the community is concerned about the same issue everyone else is -- public safety.