CHICAGO — With a week to go before Election Day, the governor of Illinois was the special guest at a campaign event and drag show Chicago.
Gov. J.B Pritzker headlined the “Drag ‘Em To The Polls” get out the vote rally Tuesday evening at Baton Show Lounge in the Uptown neighborhood.
Pritzker was joined by some of his fellow Democratic candidates on the ballot this year, including U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, Secretary of State candidate Alexi Giannoulias and State Rep. Lisa Hernandez, the chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois.
The governor used the occasion to draw a contrast with his Republican opponent in his reelection bid, Politico reported, declaring that State Sen. Darren Bailey is “supported by racist, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic organizations,” as well as “people like Donald Trump.”
Drag shows — lip-synching performances by people dressed as the opposite sex — have emerged as a hot-button political issue this year.
Bailey has repeatedly condemned drag performances and voted against 2019 legislation signed by Pritzker that mandated that public schools teach students about contributions to U.S. and Illinois history by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people before they complete eighth grade.
After a widely followed conservative social media account highlighted events for children a LGBTQ pride event in Lake County were sponsored by public libraries in Highwood and Waukegan, Bailey said the real intent of drag queen storytelling events is “indoctrination” and pledged to bar state funding to libraries that host drag events.
“As governor, I would sign legislation banning these shows at schools and I would ban any drag show at any establishment that involved kids in the show,” Bailey said in June. “Kids should not be used as props in highly sexualized performances like drag shows.”
In July, a Lake in the Hills bakery was the target of multiple instances of harassment and vandalism after it announced plans for a family friendly drag show. A 24-year-old Alsip man was later charged with a hate crime and criminal damage to property for allegedly smashing a door with a bat and spray painting homophobic and Christian messages on the site of the building.
Pritzker visited Uprising Bakery and Cafe ahead of the show, which went ahead after a postponement, showing his support by writing a message and signing his name on a window that had been boarded up due to the damage.
Following the get out the vote event at the Baton Show Lounge, Pritzker’s campaign staff announced they were “defending the right of every LGBTQ+ Illinoisans to live as their authentic self.”
The governor did not stick around to tip cash to the drag performers at Tuesday’s event after delivering his remarks, but Cassidy, Giannoulias, Hernandez and Schakowsky did, Politico reported, with the secretary of state candidate earning a tip from the congresswoman by serenading her with a sampling of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” with the lyrics changed to “always love Jan.”
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November 2, 2022 at 12:53PM