Gay rights activist Jim Madigan is running for the Illinois State Senate in 2010. If elected, he would be the first openly gay senator in Illinois.

Chicago gay weekly Windy City Times reported that Madigan, a Democrat, participated in Chicago Gay Pride as a candidate.

“I will be participating in the [Pride] Parade as a candidate, although I won't have my official launch until after Pride,” Madigan said two days before the parade.

Madigan's last job was at the helm of the gay rights group Equality Illinois. He also worked as a staff attorney for Lambda Legal for three years.

An Ohio native, he moved to Chicago to attend the University of Chicago Law School, where he graduated in 2000, and continues to serve as an adjunct lecturer.

At Madigan's campaign website,, he includes his gay activism experience in his resume: “I have served my community as a civil rights attorney, a leader in LGBT nonprofit organizations, and an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago Law School. My career is dedicated to basic principles of fairness and equal justice under law.”

Madigan, 35, is running for Illinois' 7th Senate District, which includes parts of Chicago's gay neighborhoods. He said he will shortly open his campaign headquarters, which is located above gay bar Crew Bar and Grill at 4802 Broadway, and has already selected June LaTrobe, a transgender woman, as his chief of staff.