In the MAY EQIL Insider Scoop:

Join the LGBT Equality Institute
Community Forums
May Memberhip Month
State and Federal Policy Priorities
Marriage Resources
First Friday
How to Succeed…at Equality
Transgender Social
Spring Wine Tasting
Get Involved
Events Calendar

Gmail users! Don’t miss out – Move this email to the Primary tab & click “Yes” when prompted.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky

Gautam Raghavan

Meg Gorecki

MAPPING THE FUTURE = Join us as Equality Illinois hosts the LGBT Equality Institute to discuss the myriad issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans and the strategies for addressing them following the passage of marriage equality. The institute is 9 am – 5:30 pm on Saturday, May 17, at the Embassy Suites Lakefront Hotel, Chicago.


Among the expert presenters will be Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky,a senior member of the state’s congressional delegation, Gautam RaghavanWhite House Advisor on LGBT Issues, and Meg Gorecki, Midwest Director for the U.S. Department of Justice.


Do you want to learn how to create an LGBT-inclusive culture at your workplace? To attract allies to your organization? To discuss the intersection of faith and LGBT equality issues? To learn what’s next on the federal and state LGBT equality agenda? To be a better networker? Here is your chance to learn about these topics and so much more!


The day long institute, including breakfast and lunch, is just $60.




Preparing for the Institute, EQIL Field Director Patty Dillon met in Palatine, Bloomington-Normal, and Rockford to hear from local LGBT leaders and allies about what they see as priorities following the passage of marriage equality. Seen here, Dan Yokas of the Countryside UU Churchcontributes to the discussion in Palatine.




This is EQIL May Membership Month: Orbitz has stepped up to donate FOUR flight vouchers for travel within the U.S. lower 48 states or Canada. So, if you join Equality Illinois or renew your membership now, you will get entered into a drawing to win one of the FOUR flight vouchers.CLICK HERE TO RENEW OR JOIN



EQIL State Priorities

ILLINOIS – With the Illinois General Assembly entering the last month of its spring session, there is an urgency to act on these issues in Springfield:


Strengthening anti-bullying policies: House Bill 5707 sponsored by Rep. Kelly Cassidy enhances state anti-bullying policy by writing acomprehensive state standard to be implemented by school districts. The bill requires schools to have an anti-bullying policy in place, investigate cases of bullying, and create a yearly report of incidents. The measure received bipartisan support when it passed the House; let’s make sure it passes with the same in the Senate.


Passing the ban on revenge porn:  The bill was approved by the Senate and prohibits internet posting of sexually explicit photos of another person without permission, which could single out LGBT individuals for blackmail, forced outings, and harassment.  Equality Illinois will work with House lawmakers to pass this bill.

Passing the Voting Rights Constitutional Amendment: This amendment would ban voter suppression tactics that have been passed in other states, including those that would place voting restrictions targeting LGBT Illinoisans. If passed in the Senate, it would go before voters this November.

Defending LGBT Minors: A bill to protect LGBT minors from being subjected to the discredited practice of conversion therapy suffered a setback in the House, while a similar measure remains on the Senate calendar. The need for the bill remains – to protect the most vulnerable individuals already struggling in the face of homophobia and transphobia – and Equality Illinois will continue to work on it with our legislative allies.


EQIL Federal Priorities

NATIONAL – Our work in Washington continues on these initiatives:

Securing Employment Non-Discrimination:
·  Obtain Executive Order signed by President Obama banning LGBT discrimination by federal contractors.
·  Pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. ENDA, which protects LGBT employees, passed the U.S. Senate and is awaiting House action.

Ending Blood Donor Ban: End the homophobic ban imposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration against blood donations by men who have sex with men.


MARRIAGE RESOURCES = Hundreds of clergy members in Illinois want to officiate at same-sex wedding ceremonies! Equality Illinois helps the couples connect with the faith leaders in a new pamphlet.

The just-issued listing of wedding officiants answers one of the most frequent questions about the new marriage equality: Who will perform our wedding?

Also, the updated Equality Illinois guide “Marriage Rights in Illinois” answers most of the other questions couples have about taking advantage of the state’s new marriage law, including how to convert a civil union into a marriage. Both guides can be read online or downloaded.

With the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act going into effect statewide IN ONE MONTH on June 1, now is the time to take advantage of these resources



FIRST FRIDAY = Join the Equality Illinois PAC TONIGHT for the popular and fun monthly social!

A great crowd always joins us for First Friday, so please come by for the fun, cocktails, musicals, and door prize drawings. For a $10 donation at the door to the Equality Illinois PAC, you receive two drink tickets and a ticket to be entered in our door prize drawing. Friday, May 2, 6–8pm @ Sidetrack, 3349 North Halsted Street in Chicago (21+ with ID).

Contributions support Equality Illinois PAC. Paid for by Equality Illinois PAC. Contributions are not tax deductible. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website,, or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois. State law requires that we report the occupation and name of the employer of any individual who contributes over $500.00.

HOW TO SUCCEED…AT EQUALITY = Join Porchlight Music Theatre and Equality Illinois for the LGBTQ Night at How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, TONIGHT, Friday, May 2.

Award-winning Porchlight Music Theatre presents the Tony and Pulitzer prize-winning musical comedy, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

USE the code EQUALITY when purchasing tickets and a portion of every ticket sold is donated to Equality Illinois. More information and tickets are available at 773.327.5252or they can be purchased ONLINE.


TRANSGENDER SOCIAL = Please join us for the Equality Illinois Transgender Community Social.


This Sunday, May 4, at 3-6 pm enjoy an afternoon of socializing with friends old and new, dining on delicious light bites, and sipping cocktails at the elegant Mayne Stage Theatre, 1328 W. Morse, Chicago.

The suggested event donation is $10, and there will be a cash bar and raffle prizes also available.



Set aside time for the annual Spring Wine Tasting at Sidetrack on Wednesday, May 7. General admission opens at 6:30 pm, and VIP access starts at 5:30 pm to give you the first tastings of the always premium selections.

Your ticket purchase supports the work of Equality Illinois, and you can have a fabulous time doing it! (Must be 21 or over with ID.)

Click here to buy VIP access tickets.      Click here for general admission tickets.


Equality Illinois succeeds because of your involvement. We have two fun and exciting events where we will need your help. Please e-mail us at to volunteer for:
When: Wednesday, May 7, 6pm – 9pm
Where: Sidetrack Bar, 3349 N. Halsted St., Chicago
Need: Volunteer at door check-in tables. Volunteers get free entry to the wine tasting after working a shift. (Must be 21 or older.)
When: Saturday, May 17, 2014, 9 am to 5:30 pm (Registration opens at 8 am)
Where: Embassy Suites Downtown/Lakefront Chicago, 511 N. Columbus Drive.
Need: Volunteers for morning and afternoon shifts. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.


Stay up-to-date on Equality Illinois community events on our


Relive the fun and excitement of the Equality Illinois 2014 Gala with videos of the program and hundreds of pictures (available for purchase) of the guests, the celebs and the dancing! Click here

If you would like an Equality Illinois speaker at your event at work, a local civic organization, on campus, a union meeting, your religious group, a home EQIL fundraiser, or wherever, please contact us at or call 773-477-7173.

Stay informed of LGBT-equality matters by visiting us at  Also, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.  


We can only succeed in our mission if you stand with us, so please make a financial contribution today.




Scroll to Top