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Congratulations, 2018 Equality Illinois Community Pride Honorees

May 25, 2018

Two Illinois activists are 2018 Equality Illinois Community Pride Honorees for their strong, ongoing leadership on LGBTQ issues. Nicole Bashor, who spearheads support for political candidates in Illinois who back pro-LGBTQ policies, and Saúl Aviña Jr., who has spent a decade working on HIV treatment and prevention programs, will be recognized at the Equality Illinois Pride Kickoff Brunch on Sunday, June 3 at Venue West, 221 N. Paulina St., Chicago.

Bashor is a patent attorney and partner at Quarles & Brady LLP. She has served on the Equality Illinois PAC Board since 2011, including a period as chair from 2014 to 2016. In her tenure as PAC Board chair, the board’s endorsed candidates won over 90 percent of the time.

Aviña is program manager at CALOR, which provides a variety of prevention and educational services designed primarily for people most at risk of HIV/AIDS, and also works on research initiatives advancing HIV/AIDS programs.

BRUNCH INFO AND TICKETS

 

Breakthru Beverage Grows Relationship with Equality Illinois

May 24, 2018

Breakthru Beverage Group has expanded its commitment and partnership with LGBTQ advocacy organization Equality Illinois. Breakthru and its leadership have been long-standing supporters of Equality Illinois and the broader LGBTQ community, with a relationship dating back more than a decade.

Through this yearlong commitment, Breakthru will amplify Equality Illinois’ mission to its 1,200 Illinois associates and more than 18,000 accounts to broaden the organization’s base of support and promote opportunities for involvement.

Breakthru will support Equality Illinois’ events, identify partnership opportunities with like-minded brands and promote key initiatives and events through on- and offline engagement.

 

ACT NOW to tell the House: Pass the LGBTQ Inclusive History Bill

May 17, 2018

CALL TO ACTION: The LGBTQ Inclusive Curriculum Bill is now in the House floor as the final push for action on major legislation is underway in the General Assembly before the scheduled May 31 adjournment.

There is vocal opposition to the bill. We need you to raise your voice in support of the bill and get it to the governor’s desk.

Do not delay! Contact your House member TODAY to ask for a YES vote on SB 3249.

 

Tell Illinois House: Ratify ERA

May 16, 2018

Take Action Today: The Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing all people equal treatment under the law regardless of their sex, is now in the Illinois House, with a vote on ratification hopefully taken before the May 31 adjournment.

Act now to tell your state representative to vote YES.

In a committee hearing Wednesday morning, the amendment passed on a party line vote of seven Democrats voting “yes” and five Republicans voting “no.” Opponents continue to deploy specious arguments such as that that it would mandate co-ed prisons and bathrooms.

The right wing is working overtime to try to stop ERA from being added to the Constitution. You must tell the Illinois House it can no longer delay ratifying ERA.

 


Equality Illinois Invites Amazon Workers to Pride Brunch

May 3, 2018

Echoing the national NO GAY? NO WAY! campaign, Equality Illinois is issuing a special invitation for the Equality Illinois Pride Kickoff Brunch to the employees of Amazon to encourage the world’s largest online retailer to locate its new HQ2 in a state such as Illinois that protects the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.

“Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos have been strong, consistent supporters and advocates of LGBTQ rights, which has been recognized by being a recipient of the HRC National Equality Award. That mission can be further enhanced by locating its second headquarters, known as HQ2, and its 50,000 new jobs, in pro-equality states such as Illinois,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.

The Pride Kickoff Brunch on Sunday, June 3 in Chicago annually launches Pride Month by celebrating the public officials and advocates who have helped make Illinois a state where LGBTQ people enjoy rights such as anti-discrimination protections enacted in 2005 and where we continue to work together to build a stronger Illinois.

INFO AND TICKETS

 

Illinois Senate Passes LGBTQ Curriculum Bill

May 2, 2018


 
Breaking News: On a bipartisan 34-18 roll call, the Illinois Senate passed the Inclusive Curriculum Bill on Wednesday, sending the measure calling for the inclusion of historical events and contributions by LGBTQ people to the state House.

Now that it has passed the Senate, it is important to tell you state representative to vote for SB 3249, which will have a positive effect on LGBTQ students’ self-image and make their peers more accepting. Click HERE to send a message.

Sponsored by state Sen. Heather Steans of Chicago, the bill is an initiative of Equality Illinois, the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, and The Legacy Project and is supported by the Illinois State Board of Education and a broad coalition of statewide and local educational, civil rights, health, and civic organizations. The House sponsor is state Rep. Anna Moeller of Elgin.

 

Counter opponents’ name calling against Curriculum Bill

April 17, 2018

Our opponents are resorting to vicious name calling when they talk to Illinois legislators about the #LGBTQ Curriculum Bill. We believe our history should be part of school curriculum so that all students will have a more thorough understanding of history.

Click to email your legislators and tell them: Pass the Inclusive Curriculum Bill.

 

 

Why we need the LGBTQ Curriculum Bill

April 17, 2018

The Inclusive Curriculum Bill will ensure that all students in Illinois would learn about the significant historical events and contributions by LGBTQ people and that they impacted all of us.

 


LGBTQ Advocacy Day Promotes Curriculum Bill; Now Do Your Part

April 12, 2018

Citizen advocates from around the state were in Springfield Wednesday for LGBTQ Advocacy Day.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Illinoisans and our families and allies spread out around the Capitol complex to discuss issues such as the Inclusive Curriculum Bill, the Equal Rights Amendment, and expanding the reach of the Illinois Human Rights protections against workplace discrimination.

There is more work to do. If you haven’t reached out urging your legislators to support the Inclusive Curriculum Bill, which will require school districts to include the teaching of LGBTQ history and historical figures in their curriculum, please do it today! Our opponents are at work spreading misinformation about the bill, and we can’t let them have the last word.

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR HERE

 

It’s time, Illinois: Ratify the Equal Rights Amemdment

April 9, 2018

As citizen advocates plan to engage legislators on Tuesday for ERA Lobby Day, Equality Illinois proudly supports the federal Equal Rights Amendment and urges state legislators to promptly ratify it.

It’s beyond time for Illinois to join the 36 other states that have ratified the amendment and for it to become part of the U.S. Constitution. The Illinois Constitution already prohibits discrimination in this state on the basis of sex, and it is high-time that the governing charter of the nation also includes such protections. The federal ERA would advance justice across the country for female-identified individuals, especially in those states that do not have state-level constitutional or statutory protections against discrimination on the basis of sex. Additionally, the ERA would protect the women from Illinois who travel or work in states that do not have such protections.

Ratifying the ERA upholds and extends the most cherished values of the Land of Lincoln: justice, fairness, equality of opportunity, and the freedom to be yourself without burden.

READ MORE

 

LGBTQ Candidate Activist to Speak at Pride Brunch

April 5, 2018

The 2018 LGBTQ Pride Month celebration launches on June 3 at the Equality Illinois Pride Kickoff Brunch with an appearance by Annise Parker, the former mayor of Houston and the first out mayor of a major American city, who now works to increase the number of openly LGBTQ officials throughout the country.

As the keynote speaker at the 2018 Pride Brunch, Mayor Parker will discuss her role as President & CEO of Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing openly LGBTQ people who can further equality at all levels of government.

Mayor Parker’s remarks will be delivered during the celebration to be held on Sunday, June 3, 2018 at Venue West, 221 N. Paulina St., Chicago.

TICKETS

 

Time to Sign Up for Advocacy Day

April 3, 2018

LGBTQ Advocacy Day in Springfield is next week. Please join us.

Register today for Wednesday, April 11 to talk to lawmakers about the Inclusive Curriculum Bill to teach students the historical events and contributions by LGBTQ people.

There are citizen advocates driving and car pooling from all corners of Illinois or arriving on our bus from Chicago. The bus departs at 6am from Equality Illinois at 16 N. Wabash Ave. and at 6:35am from Affinity Community Services, 2850 S. Wabash Ave.

REGISTER

 


Transgender Day of Visibility

March 22, 2018

Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31 and the days leading up to it are an opportunity to show our support for the trans community. It aims to bring attention to the accomplishments of trans people around the globe while fighting cissexism and transphobia by spreading knowledge of the trans community. Unlike Transgender Day of Remembrance, this is not a day for mourning; this is a day of empowerment and getting the recognition transgender people deserve!

Events in Illinois this week will entertain and educate. Check out the TDOV calendar.

 

Vote Tuesday to Support LGBTQ-Supportive Officials

March 19, 2018

Your vote on Tuesday could make the difference in electing LGBTQ-supportive public officials.

To learn your polling place, click HERE.

To learn more about candidates endorsed for their commitments to LGBTQ equality, please click HERE.

With strong headwinds on the national level against LGBTQ civil rights, it is important to vote to make sure Illinois retains its pro-LGBTQ leadership.

 

Vote Early This St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

March 16, 2018

On St. Patrick’s Day, take a few minutes to vote early for the Illinois Primary. There are polling places open this weekend throughout Illinois. Find locations and hours HERE.

We have seen important elections swing on a handful of votes, so your vote could make the difference in electing LGBTQ-friendly officials.

With strong headwinds on the national level against LGBTQ civil rights, it is important to vote to make sure Illinois retains its pro-LGBTQ leadership.

EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS

 

Sign Up Today! LGBTQ Advocacy Day is a month away

March 12, 2018

LGBTQ Advocacy Day in Springfield is a month away, and we’re happy to announce that Affinity Community Services is a community partner and second bus pickup location for the April 11 day trip to Springfield.

One of our priority issues will be the Inclusive Curriculum Bill, an initiative of Equality Illinois and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, to teach students the historical events and contributions by LGBTQ people. An LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum can also have a positive affect on students’ self-image and make their peers more accepting.

LGBTQ Advocacy Day includes lobbying training, meetings with legislators, and a visit to the Capitol, plus a box lunch and concluding reception. Registration includes transportation selection: bus from two locations in Chicago or driving on your own, including car pooling and ride sharing. The bus departs at 6am from Equality Illinois in the Loop at 16 N. Wabash Ave., and from Affinity Community Services, 2850 S. Wabash Ave., at 6:35am.

 


Vote Early in Illinois

March 10, 2018

Early Voting for the March 20 Illinois primary continues, including at many locations this weekend. Click to find convenient locations and hours in all 102 Illinois counties plus municipal election authorities. Remember, some cities such as Chicago have their own election authorities.

EARLY VOTING INFO

 

Show Up. SPEAK UP! Town Halls in March

March 2, 2018

SHOW UP. SPEAK UP! LGBTQ Town Halls in March will connect communities throughout the state with political and civic leaders to discuss advancing policies for LGBTQ constituencies. Please join in the discussions at an event near you in Carbondale, Chicago, Belleville, Peoria, and Springfield.

March 6 | 6pm – LGBTQ+ Forum with Candidates for State Rep. District 115 at the Carbondale Civic Center, 200 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale – Hosted by Rainbow Cafe of Carbondale. DETAILS AND REGISTRATION

March 8 | 6:30pm – Women of Color Candidates Forum for Illinois at Reunion, 2557 W. North Ave., Chicago – Hosted by E3 Radio in Chicago. DETAILS AND REGISTRATION

March 22 | 6pm – Town Hall meeting with state Rep. LaToya Greenwood of East St. Louis – Hosted by WPT, Inc. Belleville, IL location TBA

March 26 | 6pm – Town Hall meeting with Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth of Peoria at the Universalist Unitarian Church, 3000 W. Richwoods Blvd., Peoria – Hosted by Peoria Proud. RSVP

March 26 | 6pm – Town Hall with state Sen. Andy Manar, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder, Ald. Kristen DiCenso, Ald. Andrew Proctor, Sangamon County Board Member Tony DelGiorno, and candidate Betsy Lodrigan, at the Phoenix Center, 109 E. Lawrence Ave., Springfield – Hosted by Phoenix Center. No RSVP required.

March 28 | 6pm – State of the LGBTQ Community Town Hall with state Senator Iris Y. Martinez, state State Senator Omar Aquino, and state Representative Will Guzzardi, at the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, 3000 N. Elbridge Ave., Chicago – Hosted by ALMA. RSVP

 

Tell legislators: Our history is NOT offensive

February 28, 2018

“Outrageous and offensive” and an “…effort to politicize curriculum in order to advance biased beliefs…”

That’s how a right-wing anti-equality organization recently described the Inclusive Curriculum Bill introduced in Springfield this month. The bill ensures the inclusion of the roles and contributions of LGBTQ people in curriculum in Illinois.

Tell your elected leaders that our history is NOT offensive.

The bill is an initiative of Equality Illinois and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance and sponsored by state Sen. Heather Steans and state Rep. Anna Moeller, 43rd District.

 

Help Illinois to Become Fully Equal

February 26, 2018

Want to know why we fight for LGBTQ equality?

“It is the daily practice of our equality that helps Illinois become the state she is destined to be – fully equal and accepting of all,” says Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.

Please take a few minutes to watch Brian’s recent comments at the 2018 Equality Illinois Gala.

 


Inclusive Curriculum Bill Introduced to Teach LGBTQ History

February 16, 2018

The Illinois Inclusive Curriculum Bill is introduced in the state legislature, an initiative of Equality Illinois and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance and sponsored by state Sen. Heather Steans of Chicago and state Rep. Anna Moeller, of Elgin, so students will learn about the significant historical events and contributions by LGBTQ people.

Some examples: The nation’s first gay rights organization, the Society for Human Rights, was formed in 1924 in Chicago. Illinoisan Jane Addams, the mother of social work, founder of the Hull House, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, was in a committed 40-year relationship with her partner, Mary Rozet Smith. The organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, was a gay man. And Sally Ride, the first U.S. woman in space, was a lesbian.

The Illinois School Code already ensures inclusion in history curriculum of the contributions and experiences of other historically marginalized communities, including of people of color, women, immigrant communities, and people with disabilities, so the Illinois Inclusive Curriculum Bill is consistent with current state law and our shared Illinois values of inclusion and respect.

READ MORE

 

Participate in the SHOW UP, SPEAK UP! agenda

February 8, 2018

It’s time for the Equality Illinois Show Up. Speak Up! 2018 Agenda. Your Equality Illinois team is on the case in Springfield and working to ensure that LGBTQ issues are included in this election across the state. We are asking you to join us in this work and make sure your voices are heard.
· Attend the Chicago Equality Action Academy Feb. 10 or Feb. 11 to learn how to work on elections.
· Show up at the LGBTQ Forum with District 115 candidates in Carbondale on March 6..
· Participate in the Women of Color Candidates Forum in Chicago on March 8.
· Register to vote in the Illinois primary.
· Attend the Equality Illinois Election Party at Sidetrack on March 20.
· Lobby your legislator April 11 on Equality Illinois LGBTQ Advocacy Day in Springfield.

 

THANK YOU!

February 4, 2018

 

Tonight – Sold Out Gala to Feature Bipartisan Support for LGBTQ Rights

February 3, 2018

Tonight, a full house of nearly 1,500 people is expected at the 2018 Equality Illinois Gala to hear about the successes and ongoing challenges of building a stronger Illinois in the face of national headwinds against LGBTQ civil rights.

The gala, which benefits the yearlong statewide LGBTQ civil rights work of Equality Illinois Institute, will recognize Planned Parenthood of Illinois, transgender youth activist Jazz Jennings, and longtime LGBTQ activist Jim Bennett. Guests will also hear from three Illinois residents who will speak on the multidimensional work of the organization and how their lives have been directly impacted by it.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and 100 other elected officials and candidates will be introduced, plus community members, dignitaries, and allied supporters plan to attend the gala at the Hilton Chicago.

READ MORE

 


Gala tickets SOLD OUT! Thank you.

January 23, 2018