U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, a right-wing Republican facing a strong challenge from progressive Democrat Tammy Duckworth in the northwest suburban 8th Congressional district, once claimed to be progressive on gay and other issues.

When he ran against staunch progressive Rep. Sidney Yates in the 9th Congressional District in 1996, Walsh claimed to be supportive of gay rights. Yates scored 89 percent on the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC's) Congressional ratings.

Reporters Trudy Ring and Shamara Riley covered the race for Outlines newspaper, a gay paper that later purchased and merged with Windy City Times newspaper. They wrote:

"Walsh also has indicated he would support gay rights, but Yates has taken a leading role on the issue for many years. ... Walsh, endorsed by Log Cabin, said he would support ENDA and other federal gay-rights legislation, and would be willing to co-sponsor it. Like Yates, he opposes restrictions on gays in the military.

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