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#RiseUpOct8

October 8, 2019

Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear three cases about LGBTQ employment discrimination that will determine if federal law protects LGBTQ people. The Supreme Court will consider how Title VII’s ban on workplace sex discrimination protects LGBTQ people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

No one who is well-qualified, talented, and hardworking should have to live in fear of being fired or denied a job or promotion because of who they are or whom they love. That’s why a majority of Americans from all walks of life support these protections.

We are proud of ACLU of Illinois’ John Knight for arguing one of the key cases in front of the Court today.

To learn more listen to Lambda Legal’s Director of Constitutional Litigation Camilla Taylor and Equality Illinois’ Director of Public Policy Mike Ziri talk with The 21st Show and Illinois Public Media about the impact the ruling could have on the community.

 

Illinois Equality Council

August 14, 2019

Annual Conference

October 15, 2019
Hilton Chicago
720 S. Michigan

The Illinois Equality Council is a collection of Illinois businesses who champion LGBTQ equality in the workplace and beyond

The Annual Convening of the Illinois Equality Council is an opportunity for members to network with like minded champions, engage in professional development, and connect with senior Illinois leaders.

Click HERE to learn more about the Illinois Equality Council.

REGISTRATION

ABOUT US: Equality Illinois is a nonprofit 501c4 organization that seeks to build a better Illinois by educating and advocating on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) equality. Founded in 1991, Equality Illinois is the only statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization In Illinois and one of the largest state-based LGBTQ equality organizations in the country. In the past year alone, our work and our leadership has been highlighted in The Washington Post, USA Today, L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, and on NBC 5, Fox, and CNN.

 

Illinois Equality Council

August 13, 2019

Equality Illinois values the roles Illinois businesses have played in advancing LGBTQ equality. From their support of marriage equality to their opposition to anti-LGBTQ public policies, many Illinois businesses have been leaders in promoting LGBTQ equality in the workplace and beyond.

To honor this commitment, Equality Illinois has launched the Illinois Equality Council to allow businesses the opportunity to deepen their commitment to LGBTQ equality and to promote their support of LGBTQ equality more broadly.

The Annual Program run October 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020. To learn more or join, download the commitment form, register online, or contact Myles Brady Davis at mylesbradydavis@eqil.org.

ABOUT US: Equality Illinois is a nonprofit 501c4 organization that seeks to build a better Illinois by educating and advocating on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) equality. Founded in 1991, Equality Illinois is the only statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization In Illinois and one of the largest state-based LGBTQ equality organizations in the country. In the past year alone, our work and our leadership has been highlighted in The Washington Post, USA Today, L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, and on NBC 5, Fox, and CNN.

 

THE INCLUSIVE CURRICULUM BILL

August 11, 2019

Starting with the 2020-21 school year, students in Illinois public schools will learn about LGBTQ contributions in history. The Inclusive Curriculum Bill is the initiative of Equality Illinois, the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, and The Legacy Project!

Thank you to our fierce legislative champions, State Representative Anna Moeller, 43rd District and State Senator Heather Steans!

Thank you to our amazing partners, the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance and the Legacy Project!

 


Illinois Equal Restroom Access Bill

July 31, 2019

The Illinois Equal Restroom Access Bill is now law!

The Equitable Restroom Access Bill will require that all single occupancy restrooms in public accommodations and public buildings in the state be gender-neutral.  This will provide trans and gender non-conforming Illinoisans, parents of opposite gender children, seniors with opposite gender caregivers, a safer and more affirming experience!  

Thank you to Governor JB Pritzker for signing SB 556 and to Senator Melinda Bush and State Representative Sam Yingling for leading the charge in the Illinois General Assembly.

Special thanks to our partners at the Chicago Restroom Access Project for their leadership in developing public policy regarding conversion of gendered single-stall restrooms to all genders.


 

Fahrenheit Chicago 3

July 25, 2019

Equality Illinois Institute with presenting sponsors Howard Brown Health and The Reva and David Logan Foundation are excited to invite you to Fahrenheit Chicago 3 on August 23-25, 2019!

Fahrenheit Chicago is a “party with a purpose” for LGBTQ Illinoisans, centering the experiences and rich community assets of the Black and Latinx LGBTQ community. We have many free and fun events planned for you that weekend.

 

Volunteer Opportunity!

July 18, 2019

Equality Illinois has been selected to staff the gates at this year’s Northalsted Market Days and we are rounding up the troops!

We need 50 volunteers per day. This is a great opportunity for you, your friends, and family to Show up, SPEAK UP! on behalf of LGBTQ Illinoisans.

Northalsted Market Days is the largest street festival in the Midwest and Chicago’s hottest summer celebration, August 10-11, 2019.

The weekend long festival features an all day lineup of live music on 4 stages, 200+ unique vendors, arts, crafts, food and drink, DJ’s and dancing, sponsor booths, and more!

 

Emerging Leaders Circle

June 26, 2019

The Emerging Leaders Circle is a dynamic group of young professionals, 35 years or younger, who have been identified as the next generation of leaders. As a donor, you are investing in the vital work of Equality Illinois – statewide campaigns that promote fair treatment for LGBTQ citizens of Illinois. Your membership in the Emerging Leaders Circle is a partnership with Equality Illinois and an investment in our joint fight for equality.

As an Emerging Leaders Circle member, you have unique access to the decision makers within Equality Illinois. You’ll receive exclusive informational updates, access to private events throughout the year, and opportunities for discounts on events and activities. The Emerging Leaders Circle is much more than a donor group. It is a nucleus of support, influence and leadership that works relentlessly for equitable change.

 


EI supports SB 7, the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act

May 22, 2019

Equality Illinois is proud to endorse SB 7, the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act.  LGBTQ people use cannabis at more than double the rates of non-LGBTQ people according to data from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health sponsored by the US Department of Health & Human Services.  The criminalization of cannabis use therefore disproportionately harms the LGBTQ community.  By legalizing cannabis for recreational use by anyone over the age of 21, SB 7 has the potential to reduce the number of LGBTQ people caught up in Illinois’ criminal justice system.

Read our entire statement by clicking on the learn more button

 

2019 LGBTQ Advocacy Day

May 9, 2019

LGBTQ Advocacy Day is just 6 days away!

This is a great opportunity to meet with fellow supporters of LGBTQ equality and let your voice be heard on issues that affect us all.

We must SHOW UP! and SPEAK UP! to support our allies and champions in the Illinois State Capitol and make sure that our state continues to demonstrate its values of being fully equal and inclusive. Register for the 2019 LGBTQ Advocacy Day TODAY!

We hope to see you on Wednesday, May 15, 2019!

 

Fahrenheit Chicago 3

April 12, 2019

Fahrenheit Chicago 3 events are free and open to the public. However, participants can upgrade to a VIP experience for $15. This upgrade entitles a person to craft cocktails, beer, and an opportunity to enter into a special raffle!

SECURE YOUR VIP TICKET TODAY!

Fahrenheit Chicago 3 is a “party with a purpose” for LGBTQ Illinoisans, centering the experiences and rich community assets of the Black and Latinx LGBTQ community. We have many free and fun events planned for you that weekend.

Fahrenheit Chicago 3 is an opportunity for small business and community based organizations to connect with LGBTQ communities of color. This years expo our community partners can participate in one day or both days to maximize their presence. We can customize your experience!

Questions: Email Anthony Galloway, Equality Illinois Director of Civic Engagement, at agalloway@eqil.org.

 

2019 LGBTQ Advocacy Day

March 14, 2019

This legislative session is a busy one for champions of LGBTQ equality in Illinois. On the national level we are seeing a really big rise in anti-LGBTQ sentiment, particularly from the administration in Washington. Seeing that happen in Washington, we have to SHOW UP! and SPEAK UP! to support our allies and champions in the Illinois State Capitol and make sure that our state continues to demonstrate its values of being fully equal and inclusive. Register for the 2019 LGBTQ Advocacy Day on Wednesday, May 15, 2019!

This is a great opportunity to meet with fellow supporters of LGBTQ equality and let your voice be heard on issues that affect us all.
 
We hope to see you there!

 


International Trans Day of Visibility

March 14, 2019

Get excited, Chicago! Sunday March 31, 2019 is the most REAL, BEAUTIFUL, and NECESSARY holiday of the year! TRANS DAY OF VISIBILITY 2019!

Join us for a special celebration in honor of International Trans Day of Visibility! Enjoy an evening of music, drag, comedy, burlesque, spoken word and powerful speeches. The Chicago Therapy Collective is at it again building platforms for Trans/Gender Non-Conforming and QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) artists to share their voices, sounds, movement, and truths.

 

Spring 2019 Network for Equality

March 11, 2019

Equality Illinois is pleased to have Priya Parrish, serve as the guest speaker at next month’s Network for Equality!

Priya Parrish is a Managing Partner at Impact Engine, a venture capital and private equity investment firm focused on companies that generate positive outcomes in education, health, economic empowerment, and environmental sustainability. Prior to joining Impact Engine, she served as Chief Investment Officer at Schwartz Capital Group, a single-family office investing across global markets. Previously, Priya was Strategy Head at Aurora Investment Management, a multi-billion-dollar manager of hedge fund portfolios, and managed product development of investment products that incorporated environmental, social and governance factors at Northern Trust Asset Management and KLD Research & Analytics. Priya currently serves as Impact Investor in Residence at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where she teaches and mentors students about impact investing strategies. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Babson College and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Throughout her career, Parrish has advanced workplace equality by advocating for diverse candidates and mentoring young leaders with diverse backgrounds. She volunteers with Girls Who Invest, a group that advocates for gender diversity in investing. Parrish has been involved in South Asian LGBTQ advocacy work through Trikone Chicago, which supports queer South Asians and their families, friends and allies.

GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY!!

 

Spring 2019 Network for Equality

March 5, 2019

Equality Illinois’ premier LGBTQ networking event, Network for Equality, is taking place Thursday, April 11, 2019 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm. This fun event serves as a space for LGBTQ people and allies to come together, network, and build community.  The funds raised support the work of Equality Illinois, the 501c4 arm of our organization working to build a more civically powerful LGBTQ community in the state of Illinois. For sponsorships or additional information, please reach out to Melissa Benge at mbenge@eqil.org.

 

Lori Lightfoot advances to the April 2 run-off election!

February 26, 2019

A statement from Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state’s civil rights organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people, released the following statement following results of Tuesday’s municipal election in Chicago:

“While we wait for every vote to be counted, we are incredibly thrilled with the votes that have come in. We congratulate Lori Lightfoot for advancing to the April 2 run-off election and her historic candidacy as the first-ever openly queer person to run for mayor of Chicago. That is a significant milestone in Chicago and Illinois history. Representation matters. Now, let’s bring it home on April 2 and elect Lori Lightfoot Mayor of Chicago.”

 


Let’s vote for LGBTQ equality!

February 25, 2019

We have achieved great progress towards LGBTQ equality through engagement in the electoral process. Let’s keep Chicago a welcoming and affirming city. Let’s vote for LGBTQ equality.

In Chicago, there’s still time for you to have your say in who should be your next pro-equality Mayor, City Clerk, City Treasurer, and Alderman. Standing up for LGBTQ equality means showing up at the voting booth. This election, we have the power to vote for candidates who support equality for all. Thank you for following through on your commitment to vote this election.

Here are two simple steps you can take to make your voice heard at the ballot box:

Step 1: Check your registration status

Head to the Chicago Board of Election Commissionerswebsite to check your registration status and make sure it is up to date. If you are registering to vote for the first time or have to file an address update or name change, you can do that when you vote, but you must provide two forms of ID, one of which shows your current address.

Step 2: Make a plan to vote

Having a plan to vote is crucial to make sure your voice is heard this election. Making a plan is as easy as deciding what day and what time you want to vote.

On Monday, February 25, you can vote at the designated early voting location in your ward or at the Loop Super Site. Click here for more information on Early Voting, including locations and hours.

On Tuesday, February 26, a voter may cast a ballot only at the polling place assigned to that voter’s precinct. Click here to check your voter information and find your polling place. Polls will be open from 6:00am to 7:00pm and you can get up to two hours paid leave if you need to vote during the work day.

 

Lets Talk Equality Act

February 15, 2019

At a time when anti-equality forces seek to establish licenses to discriminate against civil rights protections in state legislatures and courts across the country, we are proud to live in a state with strong LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination protections in the Illinois Human Rights Act.

Yet, when LGBTQ Illinoisans travel outside of our great state, our rights and equal treatment are subject to the zip code in which we may work or visit. Some states and cities have inclusive protections, but most do not.

That’s why Equality Illinois supports the federal Equality Act to include LGBTQ people in national civil rights protections.

To celebrate the re-introduction of the Equality Act in the 116th U.S. Congress, we are proud to partner with U.S. Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-8) for an educational roundtable discussion about the Equality Act on Tuesday, February 19, 2019.

RSVP Here:https://act.myngp.com/Forms

We hope you can attend and learn more about the Equality Act and how our members of Congress and Equality Illinois are fighting to advance justice for LGBTQ people in Illinois and across America.

 

NETWORK FOR EQUALITY

February 13, 2019

SAVE THE DATE!  Equality Illinois’ premier LGBTQ networking event, Network for Equality, taking place on Thursday, April 11, 2019 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm at MillerCoors Roofscape.

This fun event serves as a space for LGBTQ people and allies to come together, network, and build community. 

For sponsorships or additional information, please reach out to Melissa Benge at mbenge@eqil.org.

 

Equality Illinois supports bill SB 1 – $15 minimum wage

February 11, 2019

As an issue of fairness and justice to LGBTQ people, Equality Illinois supports increasing the Illinois minimum wage to $15.00. LGBTQ people should have the opportunity to provide for their families and establish economic security without burden or discrimination. Yet, our community is disproportionately affected by poverty.

Research shows that members of the LGBTQ community report lower incomes and higher rates of poverty than the general population .According to the 2018 report “Intersecting Injustice: A National Call to Action Addressing LGBTQ Poverty and Economic Justice for All” by the LGBTQ Poverty Collaborative, 25% of LGBT people experienced a period over the last year when they did not have enough money to feed themselves or their family, as compared to 18% of non-LGBT people. The statistics are higher when race is considered. For instance, 37% of black LGBT individuals said they did not have enough money to feed themselves or their family. Black same-sex couples are roughly three times more likely to live in poverty than white same-sex couples.

The Movement Advancement Project also reports that transgender people nationally are nearly four times as likely to have a household income under $10,000 per year as the population as a whole (15 percent vs. 4 percent). According to the Illinois data of the 2015 US Trans Survey, 21% of transgender Illinoisans report living in poverty.

A $15 minimum wage can elevate many LGBTQ people out of poverty and provide an opportunity for greater economic security for us and our families. In a 2014 study, the Williams Institute at UCLA predicted that raising the federal minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 to $15 an hour would reduce LGBT poverty by one-third for male same-sex couples and by almost one-half for female same-sex couples. The percentage of poor female same-sex couples would fall from 6.9% to 3.7%, a 46% drop in poverty. Poverty among men in same-sex couples would fall from 3.4% to 2.2%, a drop of 35% in poverty. The poverty rates of married different-sex couples would also decrease from 5.6% to 3.1%. Almost 30,000 people in same-sex couples would see their incomes rise above the federal poverty level.

These numbers demonstrate why raising the minimum wage in Illinois would have affirming impacts on the lives of LGBTQ Illinoisans. We urge the Illinois General Assembly to pass the bill, increase the state’s minimum wage to $15, and advance justice for LGBTQ people.

 


Emerging Leaders Circle

February 9, 2019

ARE YOU AN EMERGING LEADER?

Equality Illinois is seeking a select, powerful, active group of young professionals to become the next generation of LGBTQ leaders. Equality Illinois envisions a fair and unified Illinois where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and where all people live freely regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or gender expression.

Ask yourself these questions:

  •  Are you 35 or younger?
  •  Do you care about advancing LGBTQ equality throughout our state?
  •  Do you believe in Equality Illinois’ key priorities: Policy, People, and Power?

POLICY–We defend our civil rights wins from anti-LGBTQ attacks and advance pro-LGBTQ policies with a focus on education, health care, and criminal justice.

PEOPLE–We work to get LGBTQ leaders in positions of influence throughout the state with an emphasis on placing LGBTQ Illinoisans on key state boards and commissions.

POWER–We create a civically-powerful statewide network of LGBTQ champions by identifying, training, and supporting LGBTQ and allied community groups throughout the state so they can grow and embolden their base.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, become an Equality Illinois emerging leader! Participation begins at $50/month or $600/year. Membership in The Emerging Leaders Circle includes recognition in our Annual Report, advanced notice of upcoming events, and complimentary entry to our Pre-Pride Parade reception.

 

INCLUSIVE CURRICULUM BILL

February 5, 2019

BREAKING: The Inclusive Curriculum Bill (HB 246) just passed the Illinois House Education School Curriculum Committee! The vote was 13-7. Thank you to sponsor State Rep. Anna Moeller! The bill, which is an initiative of Equality Illinois, The Legacy Project, and Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, will include the contributions of LGBTQ people in the history curriculum in public schools.

Contact your state representative now: tinyurl.com/IllinoisInclusiveCurriculum.

 

DEAR EVAN HANSEN

February 3, 2019

Chicago opening night performance of Dear Evan Hansen on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, has SOLD OUT!

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.

A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. DEAR EVAN HANSEN is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it.

 

2019 Gala Raffle

January 24, 2019

Win a dream: TWO round-trip, Premium Cabin tickets to any destination that United Airlines serves. 
Taxes, fees and restrictions apply

Equality Illinois is excited to offer YOU a chance to win a dream: TWO round-trip, Premium Cabin tickets to any destination that United Airlines serves. Taxes, fees and restrictions apply.

From Thursday, January 24, 2019 at 10:00am CST to Thursday, January 31st at 4:00pm CST, you’re able to secure your chance to win by purchasing raffle tickets online. 

You can also purchase raffle tickets in person at the 2019 Equality Illinois Gala on February 2, 2019 at the Hilton Chicago.

For every one raffle ticket you purchase, your name is entered once for a chance to win these Premium Cabin tickets United donated to Equality Illinois. The drawing will be done at the Gala, but you need not be present to win.

Your raffle donation supports the ongoing LGBTQ civil rights work of Equality Illinois Institute.

 


Trump’s cruel Trans military restrictions

January 24, 2019

Equality Illinois responds to the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing Trump’s cruel Trans military restrictions

Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state’s civil rights organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Illinoisans, issued the following statement:

Today’s Supreme Court ruling lifting two injunctions against Trump’s cruel ban on Trans military service is a slap in the face to Trans service members who have been serving with honor and distinction, many on the front lines. While the ban is not yet in effect, the Court’s decision to lift the injunctions blocking the ban means that Trans service members could soon face discharges.

Rejecting the brave military service of Trans Americans is contrary to our nation’s best values. Our military is strongest when it reflects the full diversity of our broad American community and when all Americans are welcomed to serve.  The military’s own research shows Trump’s ban weakens our military. The proposed ban will eventually mean losing qualified, trained service members and will eventually deprive the military of qualified recruits at a time when enlistment numbers are already low.

Equality Illinois will continue to stand with the Trans Community. We oppose this cruel and irrational ban, which serves no purpose other than to weaken the military and punish Trans service members for their patriotism and service.

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