Wednesday, September 7, 2022


In an unprecedented move, Equality Illinois, the state’s LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, endorsed Judge Elizabeth Rochford and Judge Mary Kay O’Brien for election to the Illinois Supreme Court in the 2022 General Election.

“Equality Illinois has not traditionally engaged in judicial races but the alarm bells are ringing loudly for our democracy and our rights. That’s why we today are proud to endorse Judge Elizabeth Rochford and Judge Mary Kay O’Brien for Justices on the Illinois Supreme Court,” said Justin DeJong, Chair of the Equality Illinois Board of Directors. “We are confident Judge Rochford and Judge O’Brien will ensure every person receives equal protection and due process under the law and that they will also protect the tenets of democracy.”

This fall, two newly-redistricted seats on the Illinois Supreme Court are up for election: the 2nd Judicial District (DeKalb, Lake, Kane, Kendall and McHenry Counties) and the 3rd Judicial District (Bureau, DuPage, Grundy, Kankakee, LaSalle and Will Counties). Rochford is in the 2nd Judicial District and O’Brien is in the 3rd Judicial District.

With the United States Supreme Court controlled by justices opposed to the foundational rights underpinning reproductive freedoms and marriage equality, the Illinois Supreme Court is the last line of defense to protect the rights grounded in Illinois law. If anti-equality and anti-family forces take over the Illinois Supreme Court, many hard-won freedoms will be in jeopardy. In Illinois, the non-discrimination protections in the Illinois Human Rights Act, the marriage equality law, the conversion therapy ban, and the requirement to teach LGBTQ+ contributions in public schools are examples of laws that could be annihilated. We are also gravely concerned about judicial attacks on free and fair elections, access to justice, voting rights, reproductive rights, workers rights, and criminal justice reforms.

“For voters in the 2nd and 3rd Judicial Districts, we urge all who care about LGBTQ+ equality and justice to vote for Rochford and O’Brien,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. “Vote like your rights depend on this election. Because they do.”

Equality Illinois, a 501(c)(4) organization, engages in the advocacy and electoral processes to defend and advance full equality, justice, and fairness for LGBTQ+ individuals and their families in Illinois.

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