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40 Law Firms Recognized for ‘Raising the Bar’

Raising the Bar Program | July 25, 2016

Raising the Bar 2016Forty Illinois law firms that lead the way in providing a welcoming and fair work environment for LGBT employees and engaging with the LGBT community are being recognized by Equality Illinois for “Raising the Bar” in 2016.

In a growing and welcoming trend that helps spread fair and equal treatment, the annual Equality Illinois Law Firm Survey found that not only are the law firms creating affirming work spaces for their own employees, but they are increasingly demanding that the same respect be demonstrated by the vendors and contractors with whom they work.

“Law firms–as institutions that make the practice of law their business–play a particularly salient role in advancing LGBT equality. When law firms not only fight for equality and inclusiveness, but mirror the world they hope to see within their own offices, they send a powerful message about the importance of fully embracing all coworkers and staff equally,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.


GOP Leaders Set Record by Blocking Nomination

Issues | July 20, 2016

GARLAND recordToday, U.S. Senate Republicans set an ignominious record: They’ve allowed President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court to linger for 126 days, longer than for any other nomination to the high court.

When the Republicans announced their intention to prevent any consideration of Judge Garland last March, Equality Illinois said, “This is an abuse of power and contrary to the United States Constitution and American history.” At this record-setting moment, the Republican inaction is demonstrably contrary to American history.

Republican leaders Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, and Charles Grassley, the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, managed to make it to Cleveland for the Republican Convention. It would be good if they spent a little time doing the jobs for which they were elected.



Elections Stay Informed | July 15, 2016

Governor Mike Pence V2With his selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as the Republican vice presidential nominee, Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, is demonstrating a callous disregard for LGBT Americans and our families.

As a private citizen, a member of Congress and in the Indiana statehouse, Gov. Pence has rejected recognizing that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are equal under the law and under standards of human decency.

Pence opposed federal HIV funding, he supported “gay conversion” therapy, he opposed marriage equality, and he promoted state-sanctioned LGBT discrimination.


New Law Clinic Will Assist Transgender Illinoisans

Transgender | June 30, 2016

Gender Law Clinic memeEquality Illinois and The John Marshall Law School are launching a Gender Marker and Name Change Legal Project to help people work through the maze of county, state and federal government offices, their forms and the fees they must navigate to live their true gender identity. The program will be assisted by the Seyfarth Shaw law firm.

Among the legal changes that might be needed by a transgender or gender non-conforming person are a court-sanctioned name change, as well as making a name and gender marker correction on a state driver’s license or ID, birth certificate, Social Security card and passport and adjusting Selective Service registration.

A transgender or gender non-conforming person may face humiliation, discrimination and harassment if their core identification documents are not corrected to reflect their gender identity.