Is Laurie Lightfoot gay? What does he have to say about the rumours?

On Monday, Laurie Lightfoot, Chicago’s first black woman and openly gay mayor, will be sworn in, capping her remarkable year-long rise from obscurity to the helm of the nation’s third-largest city.

Lightfoot won 73 percent of the vote and won all 50 precincts in the April 2 runoff election against Cook County Board President Tony Preckwinkle. Majorities of white voters, black voters, and Hispanic voters chose her.

Is Laurie Lightfoot gay?
Is Laurie Lightfoot gay?

The city will be transformed, Lightfoot said last week. No one person or leader, regardless of gender, can bring about lasting change in a city. As a group we have to do this.

Last May, the former federal prosecutor and political outsider announced his unlikely bid to unseat Mayor Rahm Emanuel for the Democratic mayoral nomination.

Because of Emanuel’s decision not to run for re-election, several Democrats with much better name recognition than Lightfoot entered the race. Lightfoot received the most votes out of a total of 14, but still fell short of the 50% threshold needed to avoid a runoff in February’s election.

The tone of the runoff campaign is becoming increasingly negative. Preckwinkle’s supporters tried to tie Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor and president of the city’s police board, to police-involved shootings and a criminal justice system seen as biased against African-Americans.

Is Laurie Lightfoot gay?
Is Laurie Lightfoot gay?

Black U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush said that if Democrat Laurie Lightfoot is elected, her supporters will have “the blood of the next young black man” on their hands if another black man is killed by the police.

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Lightfoot promised his supporters in his victory speech, “We can and will build trust between our people and our brave police officers so that communities and police trust each other, not fear each other.”

Lightfoot takes over a public school system struggling with declining enrollment and low scores. Jesse Sharkey, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, issued a dire warning Friday, saying schools have reached a “breaking point” because of a lack of resources such as nurses, counselors and social workers.

Lightfoot promised to increase the number of educational support positions through “reallocation” of resources and strengthen partnerships with community organizations.

Is Laurie Lightfoot gay?
Is Laurie Lightfoot gay?

Amy Eshleman, the city’s former assistant commissioner of public libraries, is married to Lightfoot. Near the northwest part of town is where you’ll find them and their daughter.

Within weeks, three openly LGBTQ candidates statewide, including Lightfoot, won mayoral races. Last month, Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison, Wisconsin, and Jane Castor, the former Tampa police chief, made history by becoming the first openly gay mayor elected in a city in the southeastern United States.

There had only been two openly lesbian mayors in the United States before Seattle’s Jenny Durkan and Houston’s Annis Parker were elected.

Lightfoot said in his acceptance speech, “A lot of little girls and boys are watching.” They look at us and see the beginning of something… well, different. They witness the rebirth of a city. A place where race does not matter, where sexual orientation is not an obstacle and where everyone is accepted as they are.

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