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TAKE ACTION: Tell Gov. Rauner to Protect All Workers

June 18, 2018

If you work for a business with 14 or fewer employees outside of Cook County, you can still be fired for being LGBTQ, a racial minority, a woman, or because of your faith.

That’s right. The Illinois Human Rights Act’s workplace non-discrimination protections only apply to businesses with 15 or more employees. And that leaves out thousands of businesses and their workers. Tell Gov. Rauner to protect these uncovered workers.

House Bill 4572, sponsored by state Rep. Will Guzzardi and state Sen. Cristina Castro, would apply workplace protections of the Illinois Human Rights Act to all businesses throughout the state. Click to tell Gov. Rauner to sign this bill.

 

Honor Them With Action

June 12, 2018

On the second anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Equality Illinois joins with our friends at Equality Florida to issue a call to #HonorThemWithAction.

Connect with organizations that take action to dismantle anti-LGBTQ violence, hatred, and discrimination. Help make your community and your state safer, better, and more equal.
There were 49 murdered and 53 injured in the shooting, most of them Latinx LGBTQ.

We will not forget.

 

A cup of coffee benefits LGBTQ civil rights

June 9, 2018

A great way to celebrate Pride, enjoy Passion House Coffee Roasters 12 ounce bags of single origin Papua New Guinea Sigiri Estate beans.

A share of the proceeds benefit Equality Illinois and our work for LGBTQ civil rights. You can find the coffee at their shop at 2631 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago or order online HERE.

Thank you, Passion House, and your customers for supporting Equality Illinois.

 

Illinois LGBTQ Civil Rights Protections Remain Strong

June 4, 2018

The Illinois Human Rights Act protects many people—including LGBTQ people—from discrimination in places of public accommodations. The decision issued in Masterpiece Cakeshop today by the U.S. Supreme Court does not limit the protections in our Human Rights Act.

However, the Court missed an opportunity to vociferously defend the rights of LGBTQ Americans to be free from discrimination when participating in public commerce.

Equality Illinois, the statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, calls on the leaders in Illinois to reaffirm our state’s commitment to enforce our anti-discrimination law.

 


Rally Today in Support of Illinois Human Rights Law

June 4, 2018

Monday at 5:30pm in Chicago’s Federal Plaza, Dearborn and Adams streets, join a community rally in reaction to the Supreme Court ruling allowing a Colorado baker to refuse to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

We will call on Illinois businesses and the state to understand there is no change to the Illinois Human Rights Act that requires LGBTQ and other protected people to be served without discrimination.

 

On to the fall

June 1, 2018

A message from Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson:

Yesterday marked the end of the spring session for the General Assembly in Springfield. While there is much to celebrate, we leave the spring session disappointed that the Inclusive Curriculum Bill to include the teaching of LGBTQ people in U.S. history is not yet headed to the Governor’s desk. State Rep. Anna Moeller, the bill’s fearless sponsor in the House, decided to move the floor vote to the fall to allow her more time to secure the necessary votes to guarantee passage.

Equality Illinois remains committed to working with her and our dozens of supporters in the House to secure the 60 votes needed to send this bill to the Governor’s desk in the fall.

We are grateful for the hard work of Rep. Moeller, the Senate sponsor Sen. Heather Steans, and our coalition members to advance this measure, an initiative of Equality Illinois, The Legacy Project, and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance.

 

Show your Pride: SHOW UP. SPEAK UP!

June 1, 2018

Welcome to the Equality Illinois Pride Month campaign to SHOW UP. SPEAK UP! During June, we encourage you to show the colors by showing up and speaking up in many ways:

• SHOW UP at a community pride event scheduled in towns throughout Illinois as well as in many schools, businesses, and faith institutions to demonstrate that we are part of every organization in every corner of Illinois, as demonstrated by the EI Pride Shield designed by artist Todd Mack and donated to Equality Illinois by Kit and Jonelle Welch.

• Support the ongoing work of organizations such as Equality Illinois that fight for LGBTQ civil rights or provide health and social services to people in your community.

• SPEAK UP! by participating in this election season to ensure that LGBTQ voices are heard and also by being involved in the issues locally, statewide, and nationally that impact our community.

 

Dear Evan Hansen – Chicago Opening Night

May 31, 2018

Equality Illinois invites you to join us on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 for the Chicago opening night performance of Dear Evan Hansen.

Proceeds from the sale of these tickets benefit Equality Illinois’ important LGBTQ civil rights work.

“One of the most remarkable shows in musical theater history,” says The Washington Post. The New York Times calls DEAR EVAN HANSEN “a gut-punching, breathtaking knockout of a musical” and NBC News says that the musical is “an inspiring anthem resonating on Broadway and beyond.”

WINNER OF SIX 2017 TONY® AWARDS INCLUDING BEST MUSICAL AND THE 2018 GRAMMY® AWARD FOR BEST MUSICAL THEATER ALBUM.

 


May 28, 2018

On Memorial Day, Equality Illinois salutes all who have sacrificed for our nation. This monument to LGBTQ veterans was installed at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, IL and dedicated three years ago by American Veterans for Equal Rights-Chicago.

 

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.

 

In last week of session: 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.