Greg Harris (Illinois politician)

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Gregory S. Harris
Greg Harris 2009.jpg
Harris in 2009.
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 13th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 2007
Preceded by Larry McKeon
Personal details
Born (1955-06-05) June 5, 1955 (age 59)
Denver, Colorado
Political party Democratic
Residence Chicago, Illinois

Gregory S. Harris is a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, having represented the state's 13th district since 2007. He was elected in November 2006, having been selected by the 13th district's Democratic ward committeemen to replace Larry McKeon as the party's nominee on the November ballot.[1] No Republican filed for the District 13 seat in downtown Chicago so he was elected unopposed.[2] He also ran unopposed for re-election in 2008.[3]

McKeon, who had held the seat for five terms, announced his intention to retire from the legislature in July 2006. He had, though, already been re-elected in the March primary election to be the Democratic candidate on the November general-election ballot, and it fell to the local Democratic committeemen to select his successor to appear on the ballot. Harris, like McKeon, is both openly gay and HIV-positive.[1]

At the time of his selection, Harris had been chief of staff to Chicago’s 48th Ward Alderman Mary Ann Smith for 14 years. An alumnus of the University of Colorado, he had previously worked for social service agencies.[1]

Harris is one of four openly gay members of the Illinois General Assembly, alongside Reps. Deb Mell (D-Chicago), Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), and Sam Yingling (D-Round Lake Beach). In 2010, Harris sponsored The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection & Civil Union Act (SB1716), which was signed into law on January 31, 2011 by Governor Pat Quinn. The act established civil unions in Illinois.[4]

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