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LGBTQ ally Heather Steans to leave state senate

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CHICAGO — State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) announced Wednesday that she was resigning from the General Assembly effective Jan. 31.

CapitolFax reported that Steans was resigning after 12 years in office.

“It’s been the privilege of a lifetime to represent the most diverse Senate district in the State of Illinois,” Steans told the political news website. “I’ve benefited tremendously from the many perspectives of the people a I’ve represented. We’ve made great progress together, and now it’s time to pass the baton.”

Steans is known for her progressive stands, including LGBTQ rights. She was a state senate sponsor of the civil union law in 2009 and the law that legalized marriage equality 2013.

According to CapitolFax, out LGBTQ State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) will seek appointment to the seat, the 7th District. The district, on the north side of Chicago, includes the neighborhoods of Rogers Park, Edgewater and Andersonville, all of which have sizable LGBTQ populations.

The ACLU of Illinois celebrated Steans’ service in the Senate.

“We join those across Illinois in recognizing the incredible accomplishments of Heather Steans during her tenure in the Illinois Senate,” said ACLU of Illinois Executive Director Colleen Connell. “Over the past 12 years, the ACLU of Illinois has been proud to stand by her side in advancing marriage equality, advancing access to reproductive health care for all women in Illinois, protecting children under the care of DCFS, implementing critical protections from discrimination in health care based on religion and the effort to legalize cannabis. Senator Steans has been a leader for progress in Illinois and her voice in the Senate will be missed.” 

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