EqualityCon 2016 to Hear From Equality Act Chief Sponsor
U.S. Rep. David Cicilline to keynote two-day conference on issues important to LGBT Illinoisans

CHICAGO–U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, chief House sponsor of the Equality Act, will be the keynote speaker at EqualityCon 2016, a two-day convention of LGBT champions, progressive advocates, allies, policy experts, political leaders and community groups hosted by Equality Illinois.

EqualityCon, formerly known as the LGBT Equality Institute, will be held May 13 and 14 at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the school’s Student Center East (6th floor).

Registration for the conference is available at

Rep. David Cicilline

“We are thrilled to welcome Rep. Cicilline to keynote the conference and explain the Equality Act and the national effort behind this essential legislation that he is helping to spearhead,” said Patty Medairy, Director of Field Operations at Equality Illinois, which is now in its 25th year advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans.

“As evidenced by the events in North Carolina and other states, as well as the attempts here in Illinois to require transgender students to use separate school facilities, it is clear why the Equality Act is needed to protect LGBT Americans,” Medairy said.

The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect LGBT Americans from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, federal funding, credit, and jury service. The legislation was introduced last July by Rep. Cicilline in the House and U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley in the Senate and has been endorsed by President Obama.

Rep. Cicilline served as the first openly gay mayor of a state capitol in the U.S. when he served in Providence, Rhode Island from 2003 to 2011. He has represented Rhode Island’s First Congressional District since 2011. He is scheduled to speak during the afternoon program on Friday, May 13.

Community sponsors of EqualityCon 2016 presented by Equality Illinois Institute are Lambda Legal Chicago and Midwest Region, AFL-CIO Illinois, UFCW Local 881, Franczek Radelet P.C. and supporting sponsors National Center for Lesbian Rights, Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Illinois Federation of Teachers, PFLAG Northern Illinois Council, Rainbow Cafe LGBT Youth Center of Southern Illinois, and Coalition of Rainbow Alliances.

The conference begins at 3:30 pm on Friday, May 13 and runs through 5 pm on Saturday, May 14. Rep. Cicilline is scheduled to speak at 5 pm on Friday, May 13 at UIC’s Student Center East Room 605.The full list of speakers and panels can be found at:

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