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Latest Updates

Illinois LGBT Protections and Religious Freedom

Anti-Discrimination Faith & Freedom | March 28, 2015

IndianaEquality Illinois denounces new laws in Indiana and under consideration in other states allowing the use of religious beliefs to discriminate and refuse service to LGBT people and other minorities, and rejects comparisons to the religious freedom law in Illinois.

In acting as if the new law is a benign effort at ensuring religious freedom, officials in Indiana, Arkansas and elsewhere have cited Illinois as one state that already has such laws. While a religious freedom law has been on the books in Illinois since 1998, that’s only half the story.

Both the Indiana and Illinois laws say there must be a compelling governmental interest to burden a person’s exercise of religion, but only Illinois provides that compelling governmental interest in the LGBT-inclusive Illinois Human Rights Act and an active Department of Human Rights to enforce it.


LGBT Advocacy Day

Equality Illinois Event Pending Legislation | March 26, 2015

LGBT Advocacy Day E-mail GraphicEquality Illinois is holding our annual LGBT Advocacy Day on Wednesday, April 15 at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.

It’ll be a great opportunity to talk to lawmakers about legislation that affects the LGBT community. Our agenda includes strengthening hate crimes legislation, protecting LGBT youth from ineffective and dangerous conversion therapy, and saving important funding for public services in the state budget.

Registration for a bus ticket from the Chicago area includes admission for one round trip to Springfield, lunch, and registration to the LGBT Advocacy Day.  Or you can drive on your own from anywhere in the state and participate in our program when you arrive. Share your plans on social media with #LGBTadvocacy.



Mental Health Experts Support Therapy Ban

Breaking News in Illinois Conversion Therapy Ban | March 17, 2015

Experts Letter MemeA letter from mental health, medical and academic organizations in Illinois strongly supporting the Illinois Conversion Therapy Prohibition Act is a significant statement that explains the dangers of harmful and ineffective efforts to force LGBT youth to change their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Equality Illinois, the state’s largest advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans, calls on the Illinois General Assembly and Gov. Bruce Rauner to heed the experts.

“The experts have spoken. LGBT youth are endangered by attempts to change who they are. Lawmakers must pass the bill, and the governor must sign it,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.


EQILPAC Urges Runoff Support for Mayor Emanuel

Elections | March 12, 2015

Runoff Endorsements FinalThe Equality Illinois Political Action Committee (Equality Illinois PAC) today reminds voters of its endorsement of the re-election of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The Equality Illinois PAC also recommends votes for Ald. James Cappleman (46th Ward) and candidate Raymond Lopez (15th Ward) in Chicago and Springfield Alderman Cory Jobe (6th Ward).

In reiterating the endorsement of Mayor Emanuel in the April 7 runoff, Nicole Bashor, Chair of Equality Illinois PAC, said it is important for the community to stand with incumbents who expended personal and political capital to support significant issues that have improved the lives of LGBT Chicagoans throughout the city.