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Chico praises vote repealing ‘don’t ask’

Gery Chico holds up headline “don’t ask don’t tell” vote meeting Sunday Center Halsted.  |   John J.

Gery Chico holds up a headline on the “don’t ask, don’t tell” vote at a meeting Sunday at the Center on Halsted. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

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Updated: April 19, 2011 5:13AM

Chicago mayoral hopeful Gery Chico gave a resounding thumbs up Sunday to Congress’ repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

“I was really happy to wake up and see the headlines in the newspapers about the repeal,” Chico said.

Speaking on Sunday at a town hall meeting with dozens of members of the gay and lesbian community at the Center on Halsted, Chico also applauded Sen. Mark Kirk, who voted for repeal.

A number of people in the audience Sunday were happy about the repeal.

“It’s about time,” said Doug Fox, adding “why would you deny anyone the right to serve their country?”

Armando Hernandez said: “I was all for the repeal — people should be able to live openly.”

Chico also was quick to point out that he supports gay marriage. He was the only candidate running for the U.S. Senate seat from Illinois in 2004 who openly backed gay marriage. His opponents then included Barack Obama and Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes. “I’m proud of my position, and I haven’t wavered from it,” Chico said.

Chico, former Chicago school board president, also feels strongly about bullying in schools. If elected, he said he would move quickly to implement programs to instruct teachers about bullying. In instances where bullying is egregious, Chico said he would “prosecute fully.”

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