Editorial Page Editor Bruce Dold will lead a discussion about marriage equality in the next Chicago Forward on Oct. 1.
The event is at 6 p.m. at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 N. State St. For tickets, which cost $20: https://cfmarriage.eventbrite.com/
The backdrop for this session is state legislators’ debate over whether to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois. The conversation will include time for audience questions.
Here is information about the panelists:
- Chicago alderman Deb Mell (33rd) represents the neighborhoods of Albany Park, Avondale, Irving Park and Ravenswood Manor. She was a state representative from 2009 until earlier this year, representing Illinois’ 40th district.
A graduate of Cornell College, she holds a dual degree in political science and history. Mell is a marathon runner, a breast cancer survivor, an active aunt and a proud Chicagoan. She lives in the same neighborhood she grew up in with her wife, Christin Baker.
- State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) has served in the Illinois General Assembly since 2006. He represents Illinois’ 13th district, which includes parts of Uptown, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, North Center, West Ridge and Bowmanville. Harris previously served for 14 years as chief of staff for Chicago Alderman Mary Ann Smith (48th) and in a number of senior management positions with the National Home Furnishings Association.
Harris is an openly gay member of the Legislature and openly a person with AIDS. His legislative priorities include public safety, education, affordable housing, accessible health and mental health care, LGBT and HIV issues and economic development.
- Robert Gilligan was named executive director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois in 2003, after serving as associate director for six years. He also is the current president of the National Association of State Catholic Conference Directors Association.
His experience includes serving as chief of legislative services for the Arizona Department of Economic Security and at the political consulting firm of Jamieson and Guiterrez in Phoenix, Ariz. He has a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University and a master’s degree from Arizona State University.
- Peter Breen is vice president and senior counsel of the Thomas More Society, a national public interest law firm based in Chicago. Breen has appeared in state and federal courts across the country in cases dealing with pro-life legal advocacy, marriage and religious liberty. He regularly appears on local and national television, radio and print media as an expert legal analyst.
In 2012, Peter was appointed to serve as one of three Special Assistant State’s Attorneys representing five county clerks to defend Illinois’ marriage law in the Cook County Circuit Court. He has also represented the National Organization for Marriage and Illinois Family Institute.
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