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EI Blog

Blog | October 22, 2021

“Immigration is an LGBTQ issue. There are an estimated 1.3 million LGBTQ immigrants in the United States and more than 22% of are undocumented. There are approximately 128,500 same-sex binational couples that include at least one foreign born partner/spouse. In addition, the U.S. is a destination for LGBTQ asylum seekers who come seeking safety and fleeing persecution or death based on their sexual or gender identity.”

Read more from EI’s Deputy Director Mony Ruiz-Velasco on EI’s Blog

2021 Veto Session

Get Involved | October 21, 2021

Restore Voting Rights for LGBTQ Incarcerated People

Get Involved | October 15, 2021

LGBTQ people who are caught up in the criminal legal system face unique challenges, but they should not lose their right to vote and their ability to participate in democratic life. Tell your state legislators to vote YES for the Voting in Prisons Bill. Advanced by Chicago Votes, this bill would restore voting rights to people incarcerated in Illinois prisons.

LGBTQ people are disproportionately impacted by the prison system. According to the Movement Advancement Project, 7.9% of adults in prisons are LGBT, and 20% of youth in juvenile detention facilities are LGBT. Put differently, LGBT adults and youth are twice as likely to be incarcerated as non-LGBT adults and youth. When incarcerated, LGBTQ people – all people in prisons, in fact– are denied the right to vote.

Yet, the almost 30,000 people in Illinois prisons are still impacted by the decisions of elected officials. Without ensuring that people in prison can vote, their lives and the communities they come from lack representation. The Voting in Prisons Bill will uplift the voices of communities that are disproportionately harmed by the criminal legal system and will bring our democracy into the 21st Century.

Tell your state legislators to vote for the Voting in Prisons Bill:

Hispanic Heritage Month!

Uncategorized | September 15, 2021

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month! From September 15th to October 15th, we will be honoring Latinx LGBTQ+ trailblazers and organizations who are doing amazing things in our community!

Sylvia Rivera was a Venezuelan/Puerto Rican American trans activist. Most known as one of the inciters of the monumental Stonewall Uprising in New York City, along with her friend, Marsha P. Johnson. Sylvia also helped found STAR, a group dedicated to helping homeless trans youth. In addition to being one of the first trans youth shelters STAR was also one of the first political organizations for trans rights in the world. Today the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) is named in her honor. SRLP is a non-profit organization that engages in policy work and provides trainings and free legal services for trans, intersex, and gender non-conforming low-income people of color.