Archive for the ‘Get Involved’ Category

 

LGBTQ FORUM WITH THE CHICAGO MAYORAL CANDIDATES

January 5, 2019

With the civil rights of LGBTQ Americans under attack by the Trump Administration and the urgent need to continue our pro-equality progress in the City of Chicago, LGBTQ Chicagoans need to know where the candidates for mayor stand on the many issues of interest and importance to our lives.

LGBTQ community organizations Affinity Community Services, the Association of Latinos/as Motivating Action, the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus, the Equality Illinois Institute, the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, Pride Action Tank, and the Windy City Times are hosting the LGBTQ Forum with the Mayoral Candidates at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 19, 2019, at the Second Presbyterian Church, 1936 S. Michigan Avenue, in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood.

Please join us at this important public forum. To attend, please RSVP by clicking on the register button.

Can’t make it to the LGBTQ Mayoral Forum but still have questions for the candidates? Submit your questions by clicking on the question submission button.

This event precedes Chicago’s mayoral election on Tuesday, February 26, 2019.

 

Year-End Giving

December 26, 2018

As Equality Illinois comes to the end of another successful year of serving LGBTQ Illinoisans, we want to THANK YOU for your contributions and volunteer service! Today, we are calling on your support to participate in our annual “Year-End Giving Campaign” as we continue to pave a future free of bias, bigotry, and discrimination. Your contribution will continue work that proves hate is not an Illinois value. In 2019 we look forward to continuing to be a shining example of what it means to standing on the frontlines of social and political advocacy.

Your commitment of a “Year End” pledge or a one time annual gift, will allow Equality Illinois an opportunity to continue our legacy and tradition of education, advocacy, and service for years to come.

For any other gifts please contact our Director of Corporate Partnerships & Individual Giving, Melissa Benge at mbenge@eqil.org  or 773.477.7173.

 

An LGBTQ youth’s identity is never disruptive

December 20, 2018

 

 

 

December 20, 2018

Daniel Mair
Superintendent

Steve Nauman
President of the Board of Education

Kate Williams
Principal

Germantown Hills School District #69
103 Warriors Way, Germantown Hills, IL 61548

Dear Superintendent Mair, President Nauman, and Principal Williams:

On behalf of Equality Illinois, the statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, I write to express my dismay in Principal William’s letter to parents last week. By claiming that an LGBTQ youth’s expression of their sexual orientation or gender identity is disruptive, without any mention that she believes a straight or cisgender youth’s expression of their sexual orientation or gender identity might do the same, sets a harmful double standard.  This double standard is inconsistent with best practices for supporting youth, with Illinois laws such as the Illinois Human Rights Act, and our values as Illinoisans. An LGBTQ youth’s identity is never disruptive.

Educators have a sacred duty to protect and affirm children and young people. To that end, the laws of the State of Illinois strive to create an affirming and respectful environment for all students, including those from historically marginalized communities. Laws like the LGBTQ-inclusive Human Rights Act and anti-bullying protections, which have all been adopted with bipartisan support, reflect the values of the Land of Lincoln that all students should be treated with dignity, should be affirmed, and should have the freedom to learn and grow without burden or hostility.

Yet, even in a pro-equality state like Illinois, school life for LGBTQ youth is challenging. According to Illinois data from the U.S. Trans Survey (2015), 80% of individuals who were out or perceived as transgender at some point in their K–12 education experienced some form of mistreatment, such as being verbally harassed, prohibited from dressing according to their gender identity, disciplined more harshly, or physically or sexually assaulted because people thought they were transgender. Furthermore, based on GLSEN’s 2015 School Climate Survey, we know only 27% of LGBTQ youth in Illinois report hearing anything positive about LGBTQ people – people just like them – in the classroom. We must all do better to support LGBTQ youth.

The school district’s proposition – that expression of only LGBTQ youth’s sexual orientation or identity is disruptive – is harmful. LGBTQ youth who experience rejection and social stigmatization are more likely to have high levels of depression, more likely to engage in substance abuse, and more likely to attempt suicide.

And the presence of a rule doesn’t inherently make it fair or even reasonable. The lack of inclusivity and compassion by school administrators is telling and alarming in its implications for what other biases may come into play while educating students. School boards should create environments that affirm each and every student and facilitate the educational process with excellence and dignity.

We urge the Germantown Hills District #69 Board of Education and school administrators to re-evaluate your position and affirm the dignity of each young person in a way that does not further marginalize LGBTQ young people. If we can be of any further assistance, including in setting up trainings regarding LGBTQ cultural competency or as a sounding board for your questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at (773) 477-7173 or bjohnson@eqil.org.

Sincerely,

Brian C. Johnson
Chief Executive Officer

 

LGBTQ Forum with the Chicago Mayoral Candidates

December 10, 2018

With the civil rights of LGBTQ Americans under attack by the Trump Administration and the urgent need to continue our pro-equality progress in the City of Chicago, LGBTQ Chicagoans need to know where the candidates for mayor stand on the many issues of interest and importance to our lives.

LGBTQ community organizations Affinity Community Services, the Association of Latinos/as Motivating Action, the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus, the Equality Illinois Institute, the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, Pride Action Tank, and the Windy City Times are hosting the LGBTQ Forum with the Mayoral Candidates at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 19, 2019, at the Second Presbyterian Church, 1936 S. Michigan Avenue, in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood. The mayoral election is on Tuesday, February 26, 2019.

Please join us at this important public forum. To attend, please RSVP by clicking on the register button.

 


Commit to Vote 2018

August 22, 2018

There is so much at stake for LGBTQ Illinoisans on Nov. 6 at the general election. That’s why Equality Illinois and our partners are teaming up to demonstrate the electoral power of LGBTQ equality voters.

Through the Commit to Vote initiative, we aim to engage LGBTQ equality voters to vote on Nov. 6.

Commit to vote today. We won’t go back when we vote

 

Apply for 2018-19 Community Advisory Group

July 19, 2018

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.

MORE INFORMATION and APPLICATION

 

Chicago City Club Hosts First LGBTQ Presentation

June 22, 2018

The City Club of Chicago hosted a historic event on June 19, 2018, its first discussion of LGBTQ issues at this well-known and respected public forum, whose co-founder was Jane Addams.

Led by Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson, the panel featured Tracy Baim of Windy City Times, Kim L. Hunt of Pride Action Tank, David Ernesto Munar of Howard Brown Health, and trans resource navigator Reyna Ortiz.

The full program, Taking Pride in Our Story: Chicago and Its LGBTQ Community, can be watched here:

A report on the panel discussion was posted by Windy City Times.

 

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.

 


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.

 

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.

 

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.

 


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.

 

 

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

 

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

 


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.

 

#METOO

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: tinyurl.com/RejectLicenseToDiscriminate.

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 http://tinyurl.com/SIGNHB40.

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.

TAKE ACTION

 

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.

SEND MESSAGE

 

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.

SEND A MESSAGE TODAY

 


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.

READ  MORE