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Originally published as: Mahesh Somashekhar and Giacomo Negro, "Chicago is Right to Study Whether Gay-Owned Businesses Should Get Contract Set-Asides," Chicago Tribune, January 29, 2020.
There has been spirited debate since Mayor Lori Lightfoot called for a study to examine whether Chicago should establish a contract set-aside program for gay and transgender business owners.
Several aldermen have criticized the plan, claiming that business owners could simply pretend to be gay or transgender in order to receive a city contract. These aldermen also believe a set-aside program could disproportionately benefit white men who are gay but don’t need preferential treatment.