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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.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

Vote Early in Illinois

March 10, 2018

Early Voting for the March 20 Illinois primary continues, including at many locations this weekend. Click to find convenient locations and hours in all 102 Illinois counties plus municipal election authorities. Remember, some cities such as Chicago have their own election authorities.

EARLY VOTING INFO

 

Show Up. SPEAK UP! Town Halls in March

March 2, 2018

SHOW UP. SPEAK UP! LGBTQ Town Halls in March will connect communities throughout the state with political and civic leaders to discuss advancing policies for LGBTQ constituencies. Please join in the discussions at an event near you in Carbondale, Chicago, Belleville, Peoria, and Springfield.

March 6 | 6pm – LGBTQ+ Forum with Candidates for State Rep. District 115 at the Carbondale Civic Center, 200 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale – Hosted by Rainbow Cafe of Carbondale. DETAILS AND REGISTRATION

March 8 | 6:30pm – Women of Color Candidates Forum for Illinois at Reunion, 2557 W. North Ave., Chicago – Hosted by E3 Radio in Chicago. DETAILS AND REGISTRATION

March 22 | 6pm – Town Hall meeting with state Rep. LaToya Greenwood of East St. Louis – Hosted by WPT, Inc. Belleville, IL location TBA

March 26 | 6pm – Town Hall meeting with Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth of Peoria at the Universalist Unitarian Church, 3000 W. Richwoods Blvd., Peoria – Hosted by Peoria Proud. RSVP

March 26 | 6pm – Town Hall with state Sen. Andy Manar, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder, Ald. Kristen DiCenso, Ald. Andrew Proctor, Sangamon County Board Member Tony DelGiorno, and candidate Betsy Lodrigan, at the Phoenix Center, 109 E. Lawrence Ave., Springfield – Hosted by Phoenix Center. No RSVP required.

March 28 | 6pm – State of the LGBTQ Community Town Hall with state Senator Iris Y. Martinez, state State Senator Omar Aquino, and state Representative Will Guzzardi, at the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, 3000 N. Elbridge Ave., Chicago – Hosted by ALMA. RSVP

 


Tell legislators: Our history is NOT offensive

February 28, 2018

“Outrageous and offensive” and an “…effort to politicize curriculum in order to advance biased beliefs…”

That’s how a right-wing anti-equality organization recently described the Inclusive Curriculum Bill introduced in Springfield this month. The bill ensures the inclusion of the roles and contributions of LGBTQ people in curriculum in Illinois.

Tell your elected leaders that our history is NOT offensive.

The bill is an initiative of Equality Illinois and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance and sponsored by state Sen. Heather Steans and state Rep. Anna Moeller, 43rd District.

 

Help Illinois to Become Fully Equal

February 26, 2018

Want to know why we fight for LGBTQ equality?

“It is the daily practice of our equality that helps Illinois become the state she is destined to be – fully equal and accepting of all,” says Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.

Please take a few minutes to watch Brian’s recent comments at the 2018 Equality Illinois Gala.

 

Inclusive Curriculum Bill Introduced to Teach LGBTQ History

February 16, 2018

The Illinois Inclusive Curriculum Bill is introduced in the state legislature, an initiative of Equality Illinois and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance and sponsored by state Sen. Heather Steans of Chicago and state Rep. Anna Moeller, of Elgin, so students will learn about the significant historical events and contributions by LGBTQ people.

Some examples: The nation’s first gay rights organization, the Society for Human Rights, was formed in 1924 in Chicago. Illinoisan Jane Addams, the mother of social work, founder of the Hull House, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, was in a committed 40-year relationship with her partner, Mary Rozet Smith. The organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, was a gay man. And Sally Ride, the first U.S. woman in space, was a lesbian.

The Illinois School Code already ensures inclusion in history curriculum of the contributions and experiences of other historically marginalized communities, including of people of color, women, immigrant communities, and people with disabilities, so the Illinois Inclusive Curriculum Bill is consistent with current state law and our shared Illinois values of inclusion and respect.

READ MORE

 

Participate in the SHOW UP, SPEAK UP! agenda

February 8, 2018

It’s time for the Equality Illinois Show Up. Speak Up! 2018 Agenda. Your Equality Illinois team is on the case in Springfield and working to ensure that LGBTQ issues are included in this election across the state. We are asking you to join us in this work and make sure your voices are heard.
· Attend the Chicago Equality Action Academy Feb. 10 or Feb. 11 to learn how to work on elections.
· Show up at the LGBTQ Forum with District 115 candidates in Carbondale on March 6..
· Participate in the Women of Color Candidates Forum in Chicago on March 8.
· Register to vote in the Illinois primary.
· Attend the Equality Illinois Election Party at Sidetrack on March 20.
· Lobby your legislator April 11 on Equality Illinois LGBTQ Advocacy Day in Springfield.

 


THANK YOU!

February 4, 2018

 

Tonight – Sold Out Gala to Feature Bipartisan Support for LGBTQ Rights

February 3, 2018

Tonight, a full house of nearly 1,500 people is expected at the 2018 Equality Illinois Gala to hear about the successes and ongoing challenges of building a stronger Illinois in the face of national headwinds against LGBTQ civil rights.

The gala, which benefits the yearlong statewide LGBTQ civil rights work of Equality Illinois Institute, will recognize Planned Parenthood of Illinois, transgender youth activist Jazz Jennings, and longtime LGBTQ activist Jim Bennett. Guests will also hear from three Illinois residents who will speak on the multidimensional work of the organization and how their lives have been directly impacted by it.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and 100 other elected officials and candidates will be introduced, plus community members, dignitaries, and allied supporters plan to attend the gala at the Hilton Chicago.

READ MORE

 

Gala tickets SOLD OUT! Thank you.

January 23, 2018

 

Tell Congress: Protect Dreamers

January 16, 2018

Equality Illinois Action Alert – Tell your member of Congress it’s time to act and support a bipartisan permanent legislative solution and pass the Dream Act.

There are over 75,000 LGBTQ Dreamers in the United States.

Ending this program is very much a life-and-death decision for these LGBTQ Dreamers. They not only face expulsion from the only country they know as home; they also would suffer the terrifying likelihood of discrimination and violence after deportation to the country where they are sent because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

 


Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. By Fighting Injustice

January 15, 2018

As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Equality Illinois honors his legacy and pledges to continue our fight for justice for LGBTQ Illinoisans and all who face inequality UNTIL WE’RE ALL EQUAL.

 

Women’s March Chicago: March to the Polls

January 13, 2018

In one week, join the Women’s March Chicago: March to the Polls in Grant Park.

On January 20, women and allies will come together in downtown Chicago to celebrate the spirit of the resistance efforts over the past year and unite to focus on the 2018 elections and beyond.

The January 21, 2017 Chicago march and marches throughout Illinois were powerful. 250,000 women and allies showed up in Chicago to raise their voices for issues each of us hold dear. That historic day embodied the ongoing fight for women’s rights. Now, we march on!

MARCH INFORMATION

 

Lock in your tickets for Feb. 3 Equality Illinois 2018 Gala

January 3, 2018

In less than a month, more than 1,200 LGBTQ Illinoisans and allies gather on Feb. 3 for the Equality Illinois 2018 Gala, the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ soirée.

Now is the time to lock in your tickets and seating at eqil.org/2018gala. The gala benefits the ongoing LGBTQ civil rights work of Equality Illinois.

The celebration at the Hilton Chicago Hotel includes honors for longtime LGBTQ activist Jim Bennett, Planned Parenthood of Illinois and transgender youth activist Jazz Jennings, the luxury silent auction, and dancing till midnight.

 

Three New Laws Advance LGBTQ Equality in 2018

January 1, 2018

Three pro-LGBTQ equality laws that were legislative priorities for Equality Illinois go into effect with the new year. As of Jan. 1, 2018, laws that ban the anti-LGBTQ panic defense, modernize birth certificate changes, and encourage LGBTQ public leadership opportunities will help build a better Illinois.

“Across the country, we have seen attacks on the LGBTQ community increase in number and fervor,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state’s LGBTQ civil rights organization. “But in Illinois in 2017, we demonstrated that we can fight back and win thanks to the hard work of LGBTQ Illinoisans and our allies and the support of leaders in the Statehouse.

But challenges remain and our work continues in 2018.

READ MORE

 


State Gender Marker Correction Forms Now Available

December 22, 2017

Announcing: Transgender Illinoisans can begin working on the new state forms allowing them to correct the gender marker on birth certificates without requiring expensive and often unnecessary surgery, consistent with modern medical standards. The new law goes into effect Jan. 1, but the Illinois Department of Public Health forms are now online.

One form is for the doctor or mental health professional to fill out and the other is for the transgender or intersex person born in Illinois to complete.

The new law was a 2017 initiative of a coalition including Equality Illinois, the ACLU of Illinois, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, Howard Brown Health, Lambda Legal, and AIDS Foundation of Chicago. It was sponsored by state Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago and state Sen. Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields and signed by Governor Bruce Rauner.

SEE THE FORMS