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#HireTrans Campaign Launches

September 25, 2017

#HireTrans is launching this week to push for more opportunities for transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) individuals, who face high obstacles for consistent employment and advancement opportunities on the job.

LEARN MORE ABOUT #HIRETRANS

And plan to attend the WERQ! LGBTQ Job Fair this Friday at the Center on Halsted. More than 75 major corporations, small businesses, government agencies, schools and nonprofits will participate.

JOB FAIR

The #HireTrans campaign is created by Windy City Times. Equality Illinois is proud to be a sponsor, along with Chicago House and Social Service Agency, Center on Halsted, Howard Brown Health, Heartland Alliance, Association of Latinos/as Motivating in Action (ALMA Chicago), and Pride Action Tank.

 

Two blockbuster Broadway shows benefit Equality Illinois

September 12, 2017

Performances of two blockbuster Broadway shows coming to Chicago this fall will benefit the ongoing LGBTQ civil rights work of Equality Illinois.

Cameron Mackintosh presents the new production of Alain Boubil and Claude-Michel Schonberg’s Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, Les Misérables, direct from an acclaimed two-and-a-half-year return to Broadway.

Equality Illinois benefits from Les Misérables tickets sold for the performance on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago.

LES MISERABLES TICKETS

Wicked, Chicago’s most popular musical, looks at what happened in the Land of Oz… but from a different angle. Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another girl, born with emerald-green skin—smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships… until the world decides to call one “good,” and the other one “wicked.”

Equality Illinois benefits from Wicked tickets for  for the performance on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago.

WICKED TICKETS

 

LGBTQ Forum: The Democratic Candidates for Governor

September 7, 2017

REGISTER TO ATTEND

 

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Illinoisans will have an opportunity to hear directly from the Democratic candidates for governor about the issues that impact our lives at a candidate forum in Chicago on Wednesday, December 6, a coalition of organizations that serve and advocate for LGBTQ Illinoisans announced Thursday.

You can register to attend the forum and see the candidates in person.

The “Illinois LGBTQ Forum: The Democratic Candidates for Governor” is organized by Affinity Community Services, the Association of Latinos/as Motivating Action (ALMA), the Equality Illinois Institute, and Pride Action Tank. The forum will take place 6-8 p.m. at the Second Presbyterian Church, 1936 S. Michigan Avenue, in Chicago’s South Loop. The forum organizers also plan to broadcast the event live through social media platforms so LGBTQ organizations and people across the state can watch it.

As of today, the announced Democratic candidates who have confirmed their participation are State Sen. Daniel Biss, anti-violence activist Tio Hardiman, Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar,  businessman J.B. Pritzker, and businessman Chris Kennedy.

REGISTER

 

Equality Illinois Stands with the Dreamers

September 5, 2017

Equality Illinois stands with the Dreamers. Immigrants are part of the fabric of America. Here we believe in tolerance, inclusion, liberty, and fairness. President Trump’s policy today is an absolute betrayal of American values.

Click HERE to urge your member of Congress to support the Dream Act and reject Trump’s anti-DACA policy.

The president’s policy is cruel and mean-spirited. According to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, there are over 75,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Dreamers in the United States. Of those, over 36,000 have participated in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Ending DACA is very much a life and death decision for these LGBT Dreamers. They not only face terrifying expulsion from the only country they know as home but also discrimination and violence after deportation because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This is not who we are as a country or a state.

As a welcoming state that is the home of more than 40,000 DACA participants, Illinois’ elected officials must step up now and defend our Dreamers and our values. Thank you to our U.S. Senator Dick Durbin for his longtime leadership to protect Dreamers and sponsorship of the Dream Act.

We call on Governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois congressional delegation to condemn the president’s policy publicly, vigorously, and without equivocation. Our members of Congress should move forward quickly on passing the Dream Act of 2017, and Governor Rauner should forcefully support that initiative. That’s how you defend our values in the Land of Lincoln.

TAKE ACTION

 


Celebrating Protections Against Workplace Bias on Labor Day

September 4, 2017

As we celebrate Labor Day, we are grateful that LGBTQ Illinoisans are protected against discrimination in the workplace. Equality Illinois spearheaded the successful effort to outlaw discrimination against LGBTQ Illinoisans with the passage of an amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act in 2005.

However, there is no federal law barring employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, and in 28 states, you can get fired just for being lesbian, bisexual, or gay, and in 30 states, you can be fired for being transgender. That is why Congress must pass the Equality Act, to protect all LGBTQ Americans from discrimination.

 

Illinois Scores Unprecedented LGBTQ Legislative Victories

August 29, 2017

On the same day last week that President Trump rolled back rights for transgender Americans, two new civil rights advances for LGBTQ Illinoisans became law. One week earlier, a third new LGBTQ-affirming policy became law in Illinois. These bills were all part of the Equality Illinois 2017 Legislative Agenda.

We need your help to continue our aggressive and effective advocacy in Springfield and keep Illinois at the forefront of LGBTQ civil rights, especially as we face the headwinds coming from this White House.

 

Panic Defense Ban Becomes Law

August 28, 2017

Criminal defendants who kill LGBTQ people can no longer be acquitted by claiming a panic defense–that they were provoked by a fear of the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity–under a new law signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner that was part of the 2017 legislative agenda of Equality Illinois.

“This new law ensures​ LGBTQ people are not blamed for the violence perpetrated against them simply because of who they are,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.

Thank you to Gov. Rauner and the sponsors Sen. Daniel Biss of Evanston and state Rep. Litesa Wallace of Rockford.

READ MORE

 

Birth Certificate Bill Signed

August 25, 2017

Legislative sponsors, Equality Illinois, and ACLU of Illinois are celebrating the signing by Governor Bruce Rauner of House Bill 1785, modernizing the Illinois Vital Records Act and allowing transgender and intersex individuals to change the gender marker on their birth certificates without undergoing gender reassignment surgery.

Thank you to Gov. Rauner and the sponsors state Senator Toi Hutchinson and state Rep. Greg Harris.

READ MORE

 


Fahrenheit Chicago To Honor Two Health Advocates

August 25, 2017

Two public health advocates who work to improve the lives of LGBTQ Illinoisans will be honored Sunday at Fahrenheit Chicago–Pride South on the Lake, an end-of-summer, daylong beach party this Sunday that will feature entertainment, games, civic engagement, and health outreach.

The two honorees are Anne Carmack of the CORE Foundation and Serette King of Howard Brown Health.

Anne Carmack is the Grants/Development Manager at the CORE Foundation, an affiliate of the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, the largest provider of HIV/AIDS services in Chicago and the Midwest. Serette King is the Manager of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Outreach Services at Howard Brown Health.

Join us 11am-7pm on Sunday, August 27 at Oakwood Beach, on the Chicago Lakefront at 41st Street.

FAHRENHEIT DETAILS

 

 

LGBTQ Public Service Bill Signed

August 21, 2017

At a time when federal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Americans are being rolled back at the federal level, a bill to encourage public service by LGBTQ Illinoisans has been signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The LGBTQ Public Service Bill is an initiative of Equality Illinois, the state’s civil rights organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer lllinoisans.

“Equality Illinois believes that when LGBTQ people are visible, we are powerful. The LGBTQ Public Service Bill will contribute to a leadership path for LGBTQ individuals who want to engage in public service and build a better Illinois. In turn, those officials can share our experiences and stories as LGBTQ people. That helps when we work to advance policies that are inclusive, affirming, and fair,” Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, said Monday.

READ MORE

 

Fahrenheit–Pride South on the Lake Announces Entertainment Lineup

August 16, 2017

Non-stop entertainment from top rap artists, R&B and house singers, drag performers, and DJs will be featured at Fahrenheit Chicago–Pride South on the Lake, an end-of-summer beach party of fun, music, and social networking for LGBTQ Illinoisans, their friends and families.

International queer rap artist Cakes da Killa, whose debut album drops this fall, and singer-songwriter Cor.Ece will highlight the free event 11 am-7:30 pm on Sunday, Aug. 27 at Oakwood Beach, 41st Street and Lake Shore Drive, Chicago.

Hosting the party will be Chicago comedians Mz Ruff n Stuff, Trina Tru Luv, and Otis Mack “The Heavy Diva,” and poet/singer Storie Devereaux.

FAHRENHEIT LINE UP AND SIGN UP

 

New EI Board Members Add LGBTQ Diversity & Allies

August 15, 2017

The Equality Illinois 2017-2018 boards of directors, which include six new board members, who, together with the board veterans, represent the diverse LGBTQ community in Illinois as well as allies.

The new members of the two boards, for Equality Illinois and Equality Illinois Institute include Sheila Simon, the former Illinois lieutenant governor, who is now Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale.

We thank the new and veteran board members for volunteering significant time and sharing expertise and experiences from their personal and professional lives to benefit our civil rights mission.

READ MORE

 


Reacting to Charlottesville

August 14, 2017

Everyone should unite in expressing disgust at the racist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, misogynistic and homophobic messages spewed at the white nationalist gatherings in Charlottesville this weekend.

Contrary to the “many sides” of responsibility for the hate, bigotry and violence suggested by Donald Trump, there are only two sides: Those on the wrong side of history by standing against equal and fair treatment for all Americans and those on the right side of history by fighting for justice and human rights.

Kudos to the marchers in Chicago and around the nation who peacefully stood up Sunday to the hateful demonstrators and their ideologies and to the coddling of them by the Trump administration.

 

Fighting transgender military ban at the Illinois State Fair

August 11, 2017

Equality Illinois is at the Illinois State Fair for the 6th year in a row, this year seeking support for our brave and patriotic troops, including transgender members of the military.

Fairgoers who stop by the Equality Illinois booth during the State Fair, which runs now through Aug. 20 in Springfield, will be able to sign a message to their U.S. representative that Equality Illinois will forward to Washington.

If you can’t make it to our booth at the southeast corner of the fairgrounds in Springfield to send a message to your member of Congress, click below to tell them to reject the Trump ban.

TAKE ACTION

 

51 Law Firms, 25 percent more than before, embrace LGBTQ inclusivity in Illinois

July 31, 2017

Equality Illinois is recognizing 51 law firms in Illinois, a 25 percent increase from last year, for leading the way in 2017 in providing a welcoming and fair work environment for LGBTQ employees and for supporting the LGBTQ community.

The recognition results from the annual Equality Illinois Law Firm Survey, which found that more law firms are willing to create affirming work spaces for their own employees, engage the LGBTQ community and demand that the vendors and contractors with whom they work show the same respect.

“As civic leaders and protectors of our legal and civil rights, these firms lead other businesses to support their LGBTQ workers and job candidates and showcase how to be good corporate citizens,” said Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson.

READ THE REPORT

 

Trump Transgender Military Ban Condemned

July 26, 2017

By rejecting the brave military service of transgender Americans, President Trump’s policy by tweets is an outrageous about face of the trend of creating a military where courageous Americans of all identities and backgrounds are encouraged to serve.  Our military is strongest when it reflects the full diversity of our American community and when all Americans are welcomed to serve.  President Trump’s latest tweets weaken our armed forces by flying in the face of this commitment to a strong and vibrant military.

Trump cites no evidence or rationale in his tweets. Unfortunately, his pronouncement echoes similar excuses used to justify segregating African-Americans in the military, limiting the role of women, and forcing gay and lesbian service members to serve while hiding their sexual orientation, all policies that were eventually discredited and reversed. In fact, as Trump tweeted, it was the anniversary of the July 26, 1948 order by President Harry Truman ending official segregation in the military.

 


Fahrenheit Chicago-Pride South on the Lake

July 25, 2017

Equality Illinois and AIDS Foundation of Chicago are excited to announce Fahrenheit Chicago–Pride South on the Lake, an end-of-summer beach party of fun, music, and social networking for LGBTQ Illinoisans, their friends and families.

The free event, featuring non-stop music, beach games and a Bid Whist card tournament, public health awareness, and civic engagement, will be on Sunday, Aug. 27 from 11am to 7pm at Oakwood Beach, 41st Street and Lake Shore Drive, Chicago.

“We are so excited to bring LGBTQ people of color from all generations together for a summer party on the South Side. With Fahrenheit Chicago, we look forward to gathering and socializing on the South Side, and we hope it also helps build stronger bridges within the diverse queer community from all parts of the city and the Chicago area,” said Anthony Galloway, Director of Civic Engagement of Equality Illinois, the statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization.

CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO LET US KNOW YOU’RE GOING

 

Ask Gov. Rauner to sign LGBTQ Panic Defense Ban

June 28, 2017

Tell Gov. Rauner to sign the LGBTQ panic defense ban. Just click the link below to send him a message and add your name to the thousands of Illinoisans who support the bill.

Today is the 48th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. LGBTQ people, especially transgender people like Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, fought back against oppression, discrimination, and harassment. They fought for the fundamental right to lead an authentic life without discrimination or burden.

Their bravery sparked the Pride movement we celebrate this month. As those early champions resisted and persisted, we have the obligation to keep the torch burning and ensure a world where LGBTQ people can lead authentic lives without discrimination or fear.

That’s why we advocated for the LGBTQ panic defense ban this year in the Illinois General Assembly. It’s time for Illinois to make clear in statute that LGBTQ persons’ mere existence is never a legal justification for physical violence against us. Now, it is time for Gov. Rauner to act.

SEND MESSAGE

 

Proud Families Helping Kids in Need

June 19, 2017

Join Equality Illinois and Cradles to Crayons Chicago this Saturday for Proud Families Service Day, an opportunity during Pride Month for families of every stripe to show their support for local kids living in need.

Together, youth and adults inspect, sort, and package all new and like-new donations into customized “KidPacks”.

Anyone age six and above can volunteer at the Giving Factory. Activities are appropriate and engaging for individuals and families. You will work at a volunteer station such as Clothing Sort, Outfits, School Supplies, Shoes, Toys, or Shopping.

Please sign up for the two-hour shift.

SIGN UP

 

Remember the victims of the Pulse shooting

June 12, 2017

 


Tell Gov. Rauner: Sign the bill to help transgender Illinoisans

June 10, 2017

It’s time to let Gov. Bruce Rauner know that we want him to sign HB1785, the bill that will allow transgender Illinoisans to have a birth certificate that matches their gender identity.

The right-wing opponents are already hard at work spreading lies about the bill, and we need YOU in every corner of Illinois to click HERE to send a positive message to the governor’s office in support of the measure that helps transgender Illinoisans correct this essential document.

It takes just a minute. Stop by our booth this weekend at Andersonville Midsommarfest 2017 to sign the message, or anywhere in Illinois click on THIS LINK.

SEND A MESSAGE TODAY

 

Our Pride Message: Be visible. BE POWERFUL

June 1, 2017

As Pride Month began one year ago we were looking ahead to joyous celebrations. Then on June 12, 2016 the Pulse nightclub in Orlando was targeted for a vicious hate crime resulting in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

“Pride Months will always be changed; we must never forget the 49 innocent lives, overwhelmingly Latinx, LGBTQ young people, taken away from us and from their friends and families. We encourage everyone to take time this month, at a community event or in your heart, to contemplate the lives we lost,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state’s LGBTQ civil rights organization.

“At Equality Illinois, we were even more determined to honor them with action by successfully advancing a pro-LGBTQ agenda in Springfield and spreading our message of LGBTQ civil rights to every corner of Illinois. On the national level, we are working with our congressional delegation against the challenges from an administration that seems determined to ignore us at best, and force us back into the closet, at worst. THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!” Johnson said.

“So, it is important to be visible during Pride 2017, to celebrate, yes, and to commemorate and to challenge the status quo. Because when we are visible, we are powerful.”

READ MORE

 

Bill to help transgender Illinoisans get correct birth certificates goes to governor

May 31, 2017

A measure to modernize Illinois law allowing people to change the gender marker on their birth certificate, helping transgender Illinoisans live their true lives, House Bill 1785, passed the Senate Wednesday night 32-22.

Having previously passed in the House, the bill now goes to Gov. Rauner for his signature, and we ask him to act promptly. We thank the sponsors Rep. Greg Harris and Sen. Toi Hutchinson.

The bill was one of Equality Illinois legislative priorities this session, and we worked in coalition on this measure with organizations including ACLU of Illinois.

 

Legislature Bans LGBTQ Panic Defense

May 31, 2017

JUST NOW – Victory on a ban on LGBTQ Panic Defense!

The Illinois General Assembly completed action Wednesday on a bill that prohibits a defendant from using the sexual orientation or gender identity of the victim as a defense against a murder charge. Prohibiting the use of the so-called panic defense was an initiative of Equality Illinois, the state’s LGBTQ civil rights organization.

A bipartisan vote of 104-0 on Senate Bill 1761 in the Illinois House on Wednesday followed unanimous 41-0 Senate approval of the legislation earlier this month. The bill’s sponsors were State Sen. Daniel Biss and State Rep. Litesa E. Wallace.

Now we call on Gov. Rauner to sign the bill.

 


March with Equality Illinois at Pride

May 31, 2017

As you line up your calendar for Pride Month, please consider joining the Equality Illinois contingent at the 48th Annual Chicago LGBTQ Pride Parade on Sunday, June 25.

Our motto this Pride season is “be visible, BE POWERFUL,” and there’s nothing more visible than marching past a million of your closest friends.

Sign up today!

SIGN UP