Archive for the ‘Get Involved’ Category


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.



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.



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.


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.



October 16, 2017

At Equality Illinois, our hearts swell with love at the bravery we are seeing from so many people sharing #metoo. We are sorry we live in a world where the #metoo campaign even has to exist, and we promise to be vigilant in working with you to eradicate sexual harassment and assault.


Reject the Trump Administration License to Discriminate

October 6, 2017

TAKE ACTION!!! Equality Illinois stands in firm opposition to the guidance document issued today by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that would allow discrimination against LGBTQ people.

Take action here to oppose the Trump administration anti-LGBTQ policy:

Using all the tools at our disposal, we will forcefully respond and defend the civil rights of LGBTQ people, who will face discrimination because of this license to discriminate.
We urge you to call on U.S. Senators Durbin and Duckworth and your member of Congress to challenge this guidance and affirm Illinois values of inclusion, justice, and equality.


Tell Gov. Rauner: Sign HB40 to protect women’s reproductive health

September 28, 2017

TAKE ACTION–Now that House Bill 40 protecting women’s reproductive rights is on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk, Equality Illinois urges him to sign it.

And we ask YOU to send your own message of support for HB40 to the governor at

All Illinoisans should be able to make the most fundamental decisions about their body and their most intimate relationships free from government overreach. And with the rights of women under attack by the Trump Administration, it is more critical than ever that Illinois protect reproductive freedom for women.

HB 40 will preserve reproductive choice for Illinois women and ensure reproductive health care is available to the many women who access it through Medicaid and state employee health insurance plans. This struggle is about fairness and protecting the private medical decisions of women.



Illinois Scores Unprecedented LGBTQ Legislative Victories

August 29, 2017

On the same day last week that President Trump rolled back rights for transgender Americans, two new civil rights advances for LGBTQ Illinoisans became law. One week earlier, a third new LGBTQ-affirming policy became law in Illinois. These bills were all part of the Equality Illinois 2017 Legislative Agenda.

We need your help to continue our aggressive and effective advocacy in Springfield and keep Illinois at the forefront of LGBTQ civil rights, especially as we face the headwinds coming from this White House.


Ask Gov. Rauner to sign LGBTQ Panic Defense Ban

June 28, 2017

Tell Gov. Rauner to sign the LGBTQ panic defense ban. Just click the link below to send him a message and add your name to the thousands of Illinoisans who support the bill.

Today is the 48th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. LGBTQ people, especially transgender people like Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, fought back against oppression, discrimination, and harassment. They fought for the fundamental right to lead an authentic life without discrimination or burden.

Their bravery sparked the Pride movement we celebrate this month. As those early champions resisted and persisted, we have the obligation to keep the torch burning and ensure a world where LGBTQ people can lead authentic lives without discrimination or fear.

That’s why we advocated for the LGBTQ panic defense ban this year in the Illinois General Assembly. It’s time for Illinois to make clear in statute that LGBTQ persons’ mere existence is never a legal justification for physical violence against us. Now, it is time for Gov. Rauner to act.



Tell Gov. Rauner: Sign the bill to help transgender Illinoisans

June 10, 2017

It’s time to let Gov. Bruce Rauner know that we want him to sign HB1785, the bill that will allow transgender Illinoisans to have a birth certificate that matches their gender identity.

The right-wing opponents are already hard at work spreading lies about the bill, and we need YOU in every corner of Illinois to click HERE to send a positive message to the governor’s office in support of the measure that helps transgender Illinoisans correct this essential document.

It takes just a minute. Stop by our booth this weekend at Andersonville Midsommarfest 2017 to sign the message, or anywhere in Illinois click on THIS LINK.



Equality Illinois Urges Action on LGBTQ Civil Rights Agenda

May 28, 2017

Equality Illinois is hopeful that the General Assembly will act in its final days of the spring session to pass bills advancing LGBTQ civil rights, as well as passage, finally, of a responsible budget with adequate revenues to fund essential programs for all Illinoisans.

EI Director of Public Policy Michael Ziri and our advocacy team are talking to lawmakers to push for passage of bills such as HB 1785 to modernize the standard of birth certificate changes to help transgender Illinoisans and SB 1761 to end the anti-LGBTQ panic defenses in murder cases.

As the last hours of the session unfold, stay on top of legislation important to LGBTQ Illinoisans on our Facebook page and Twitter feed, and here on our web page.



Tell your U.S. Rep: Don’t Discriminate

May 2, 2017

Take action: Tell your U.S. representative to support LGBTQ Illinoisans. Click the link to send a message.

U.S. Reps. Darin LaHood and Randy Hultgren of Illinois are urging President Trump to sign an executive order that would allow discrimination against LGBTQ people.

The proposed executive order is contrary to our laws and values in Illinois. Our members of Congress should support and spread Illinois values of fairness, justice, and the freedom to live one’s life without discrimination. Send a message to your member of Congress that you oppose this kind of executive order.



Build LGBTQ Presence on State Boards

April 20, 2017

LGBTQ representation and visibility are more important than ever. Click the <<<image  to ask your state senator to support SB 1670 – the LGBTQ Public Service Bill.

Sponsored by State Sen. Scott Bennett of Champaign, SB 1670 allows individuals applying for seats on state boards and commissions to self-identify as LGBTQ; applicants already self-identify their ethnicity, gender, and disability status.

LGBTQ individuals who engage in public service can share our experiences and stories as LGBTQ people. That contributes to policies that are inclusive, affirming, and promote fairness.


Ask Your Legislators to Pass Bills That Help LGBTQ Illinoisans

April 6, 2017

Two important pro-LGBTQ bills are under consideration in Springfield. Legislators need to hear from you on BOTH bills, and we’ve made it easy for you to send them a message.

<<Click the image to urge your legislators to modernize the Illinois birth certificate law so transgender Illinoisans can live with dignity and to support the panic defense ban and protect LGBTQ people from violence.

House Bill 1785 would modernize the state’s vital records law so transgender Illinoisans won’t have to have surgery in order to get the gender marker corrected on their birth certificate.

Senate Bill 1761 would curtail use of the anti-LGBTQ panic defense in murder cases in Illinois.

These bills will help LGBTQ Illinoisans live more equitably in Illinois. Please take action today.


‘Spring to Action’ Agenda Focuses on Local Events

March 2, 2017

LGBTQ Americans find themselves in a position we haven’t been in for nearly a decade: fighting against an administration that wants to turn back the clock on LGBTQ rights. This sadly signals to others that it is permissible to try to stop the progress we’ve all fought so hard to achieve locally and nationally.

To this, Equality Illinois is responding with an aggressive Spring to Action agenda to build a strong and affirming voice among LGBTQ Illinoisans and our allies throughout the state to keep Illinois as an island of equality. At the same time, we are part of the national fight to defend our freedoms.

The Spring to Action agenda begins next week in Springfield and continues in cities throughout the state. In the coming weeks, Equality Illinois will host a series of trainings on LGBTQ issues, engage in town hall forums, and sponsor EqualityCon 2017 in Springfield for a daylong conference. Local LGBTQ and allied organizations are cosponsoring the trainings, town halls and EqualityCon. Events are scheduled in Springfield, Peoria, Carbondale, Bloomington-Normal, and Metro East.



Call to Action Issued at Equality Illinois Gala

February 8, 2017

“We live in scary times,” Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson told the crowd Saturday night at his first gala as CEO.

And with that preamble, Johnson issued a call to action for the 1,200 people at the Equality Illinois 2017 Gala and the millions of other Illinoisans who support justice, fairness, and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people and also for everyone marginalized by the rhetoric and actions of the new administration in Washington.

‘We will play our role, and we will play it vigorously,” Johnson promised, committing Equality Illinois to an aggressive agenda focusing on that will help make “Illinois more fair for LGBTQ people in places our stakeholders tell us they are hurting the most–in schools, in their access to health care, and in the criminal justice system.”



Stand up to anti-LGBTQ policies

December 22, 2016

We can’t sugarcoat this. Anti-discrimination gains LGBTQ people made during the Obama Administration, in both Illinois and nationwide, are now in peril of being wiped away by the Trump-Pence Administration and Congressional Republicans.  We intend to be vigilant and fight back, and that is going to take champions like you to support Equality Illinois with a donation of $25. 

With the Trump election and Republican sweep, the anti-LGBTQ flood gates have been opened on a national scale:

· The First Amendment Defense Act, legislation that would establish a free pass for any business, agency, or person to discriminate against LGBTQ people, has significant support among Congressional Republicans. President-elect Trump has promised to sign it. Your support of $25 strengthens our voice when we call on our allies in Congress to take every means necessary to block this hateful bill.

· Vice-President-elect Mike Pence is calling for the end of Education Department guidance affirming non-discrimination protections for transgender students. Equality Illinois will use your $25 to activate our base to call on your elected officials to remind them of the lasting harm that discrimination in schools has on our youth.  

· Anti-LGBTQ groups are salivating at the prospect of President-elect Trump striking down President Obama’s executive order protecting LGBTQ people who work for thousands of federal contractors from discrimination in the workplace. Your donation will help us let Trump know that LGBTQ Illinoisans and our allies hold him responsible for protecting all Americans from discrimination.

Your civil rights protections should not be at risk with the change in administrations, but that’s the reality we face and we will resist at every turn. Now is the time to deepen your commitment to equality and justice; donate $25 today.  Everyone who donates will have their named added to our letter to the president-elect, letting him know our interests must be respected!


Take our survey, please

December 11, 2016

survey-memeEquality Illinois will be adopting a new strategic plan effective July 1, 2017 that will outline our civil rights agenda for the upcoming 4 years. In order to make sure our agenda is most reflective of the diverse viewpoints of the LGBTQ and allied community in Illinois, we need your input.

Please take a few minutes to fill out the online survey. Not only will you have a chance to inform our civil rights agenda, but every week 2 people who complete the survey will win a $50 American Express gift card.



On Giving Tuesday, help keep the Trump-Pence administration in check

November 29, 2016

giving-tuesday1Donate on Giving Tuesday to ensure that the fight for true lived equality will continue UNTIL WE’RE ALL EQUAL!

Feeling excited and empowered after more than 200 LGBTQ stakeholders and allies came together on Monday night for a Post-Election Action Forum to discuss how to react to the Trump-Pence administration, we are determined to be vigilant in fighting for our rights over the next four years, and we are asking everyone to step up to help.

On Giving Tuesday, please help Equality Illinois with at least a $25 donation.



Apply for Community Advisory Group

October 6, 2016


As part of our commitment to an ongoing dialogue with stakeholders across Illinois, Equality Illinois launched the Community Advisory Group in 2016. The group is a diverse cross-section of voices from across Illinois that informs the policy positions and initiatives we adopt and pursue in our work to secure and defend the equal and inclusive rights of LGBTQ Illinoisans.

If you’re interested, go to the application page to review the objectives and responsibilities of the Community Advisory Group, then download, complete, and return the form.

We want to make sure the Community Advisory Group includes the diverse views of LGBTQ Illinoisans from every corner of the state. Together, we will advance justice and equality in Illinois.



Listening Tour

October 1, 2016


In the first months of the tenure of new Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson, he’s been on a listening tour throughout Illinois, in big cities, college towns and small hamlets, to listen to LGBTQ stakeholders, to hear your stories, and learn about your hopes and fears for the future.

Today, he is publishing his report on what he heard and what Equality is going to do about it.

In his report, Brian recounts the concerns over issues such as educational equality, healthcare access, criminal justice fairness, and safety in our communities. And he outlines the beginning steps of how Equality Illinois will address these concerns in the months and years ahead. Please read his detailed report.



Now’s the time to register to vote

September 6, 2016

Election 2016 meme(1)This is the final stretch until voting begins in the all-important 2016 election for president, U.S. Senate, Congress, the Illinois General Assembly and other races. Are you ready?

Passage of the state ban on conversion therapy. The end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military. The Obama Administration executive order banning LGBT discrimination by federal contractors. These laws and policies were made possible only because people like you registered and voted for officials who support LGBT rights.

Check out our Voter Registration Guide to learn how you can take care of your registration needs in a manner of minutes online, through the mail or in person at voter registration events at the Center on Halsted.

Election Day is Nov. 8, but early voting begins in Illinois on Sept. 29. Your vote counts!




July 15, 2016

Governor Mike Pence V2With his selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as the Republican vice presidential nominee, Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, is demonstrating a callous disregard for LGBT Americans and our families.

As a private citizen, a member of Congress and in the Indiana statehouse, Gov. Pence has rejected recognizing that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are equal under the law and under standards of human decency.

Pence opposed federal HIV funding, he supported “gay conversion” therapy, he opposed marriage equality, and he promoted state-sanctioned LGBT discrimination.



Mourning the Victims in Orlando

June 12, 2016

Mourns the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando.

We mourn the victims of the shooting in the Orlando nightclub Pulse, a popular gay venue. While we don’t know yet the motive of the shooter, we do know we should all feel safe in our homes, schools and places of business and entertainment. Our hearts go out to the Orlando LGBT community and the family and friends of the victims, and we wish a speedy recovery to the injured.