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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

 

EI Press Release

October 2, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 2, 2020

EQUALITY ILLINOIS APPLAUDS PRITZKER ADMINISTRATION’S SUCCESS IN DIVERSIFYING REPRESENTATION ON STATE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
While there is more work to do regarding representation of LGBTQ, women, and BIPOC leaders, Illinois’ State Boards and Commissions are moving closer to reflecting the vibrant diversity of our state

CHICAGO – Equality Illinois applauds the Pritzker Administration’s efforts in FY20 to appoint more LGBTQ, women, and BIPOC leaders to state boards and commissions. On Thursday, the Governor’s Office released the Administration’s FY20 Boards and Commissions Act Report that details the demographic data of gubernatorial appointments to state boards and commissions, including the voluntarily disclosed LGBTQ identities of appointees.

“We thank Gov. Pritzker and his Administration for their work to ensure our state boards and commissions better reflect the diversity of the people and communities they serve,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. “While there is more work to do to ensure representation of LGBTQ, women, and BIPOC leaders in public service, the governor’s new report shows the results of the Administration’s diligence and partnership with community organizations like Equality Illinois. This report reflects the governor’s ongoing commitment to making sure Illinois is a state where all people are inspired to lend their talents to public service.”

According to the FY20 report, Governor Pritzker has nearly quadrupled the appointment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) people to state boards and commissions compared to appointments made in FY19.

Also, unlike in previous years, appointees in FY20 were able to self-report if they are trans; if they are asexual, pansexual, or queer for their sexual orientation; and if they are intersex or non-binary/genderqueer for their gender. The application page is located here.

“When LGBTQ people are visible, we are powerful. As an organization that believes strongly in LGBTQ representation in roles of civic leadership, we are excited to see more and more out LGBTQ people pursuing public service,” said Myles Brady Davis, Press Secretary and Director of Communications at Equality Illinois. “Representation at tables of power matters when it comes to passing inclusive policies and for changing hearts and minds by sharing our stories.”

The data on LGBTQ identity in the Boards and Commissions Act Report is collected because of the LGBTQ Public Service Law (Public Act 100-0234), an initiative of Equality Illinois that was sponsored by State Sen. Scott Bennett (Champaign) and Rep. Will Guzzardi (Chicago) in 2017. The measure allows individuals who apply to serve on boards and commissions under the authority of the governor to voluntarily identify as LGBTQ. Prior law requires applicants to state board or commissions to self-identify their gender, disability status, and ethnicity. All of this data must be published annually in a report to the General Assembly of the demographic data of individuals who apply for boards and commissions and for those who are appointed. The state website appointments.illinois.gov contains information about the boards and commissions and previous annual reports of the demographic data of the appointees.

Here are some key takeaways from the FY20 Boards and Commissions Act Report:

Regarding sexual orientation:

  • 3.7% of the governor’s appointees in FY 20 identified as LGBQ (up from 1% in FY19).
  • 4% of the applicants in FY20 identified as LGBQ (roughly the same as in FY19).
  • Also, FY20 appointees who declined to state or did not respond to the inquiry about their sexual orientation dropped significantly compared to FY19 (30% in FY20 but 52% in FY19). This could mean more appointees are comfortable living authentically and publicly.

Regarding gender identity (which were new questions added in FY20):

  • 1.17% of the governor’s appointees in FY 20 identified as genderqueer or non-binary.
  • 1.36% of the governor’s appointees in FY 20 identified as trans.
  • The result is that 0.5% of those currently serving identified as trans and 0.4% identify as genderqueer or non-binary.

More highlights from the FY20 report:

  • The percent of Black, indigenous, and people of color appointees by the governor in FY20 was 37.6% (up from 32.8% in FY19).​​​
  • The percent of appointments who identified as women in FY20 was 48.3% (up from 39.4% in FY19).

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FY19 Annual Report

May 4, 2020

2019 was one of the most productive legislative sessions for LGBTQ rights in Illinois history!

Equality Illinois has been in awe of the power of our community and the courage of our allies so much over the past year.  While we worked on many bills last session, we are most inspired by the impact two key bills will have. The Inclusive Curriculum Act will ensure that Illinois young people will learn about the rich contributions of LGBTQ people to our shared history.  With the Equal Access Restroom Act, we have helped Illinois move one step closer in ensuring that public spaces are safe and affirming for our trans siblings.

This came on the heels of nearly 10,000 Illinoisans stepping up and taking a pro-equality civic action with Equality Illinois.  We contacted legislators, we signed up to vote, and we supported pro-LGBTQ public leaders.

None of this would have been possible without you.  As our supporters, our partners, and our public officials, you have made sure Illinois is one of the most LGBTQ inclusive states in the country.

Thank you!  On behalf of the over 400,000 LGBTQ Illinoisans who rely on us to advocate fiercely for them, thank you!

 

Equality Illinois COVID-19 Resources

April 9, 2020

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Our number one priority is the health and safety of Our LGBTQ Community

During this time of uncertainty surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), one thing is without question:
We will navigate through this challenging time, together!

 As Equality Illinois continues to hear about the surge in needs and challenges our LGBTQ community is experiencing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have put together a list of online resources.

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Please let us know any helpful resources that you find by clicking our “Share With Us” button.

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Women’s History Month

March 4, 2020

Woman crush wednesday - 3-4-20

During Women’s History Month, we will honor women who have broken barriers and push our society forward.

Today’s #wcw is Bamby Salcedo. As the founder of the TransLatin@ Coalition in Los Angeles, Mexico-born Bamby Salcedo not only advocates for the needs of trans Latinxs who have immigrated to the United States, but also speaks about and fights for the rights and safety of those living with HIV and AIDS. In 2016, the Obama Administration invited her to speak at the White House United State of Women Summit, where she spoke out about ways to help prevent violence against women. She continues to speak and work with LGBTQ Latinxs and win awards for her advocacy and community work.

 


#TDOR 2019

November 20, 2019

Today we pause to remember the known and unknown Trans people around the world who have lost their lives to anti-trans violence. The majority of the known victims have been black and brown trans women.

Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We MUST stand firm and unite against bigotry, hatred, and prejudice!

Until we are all equal and safe to exist in the world without harm.

 

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.


 

Equality Illinois 2019 Gala

January 8, 2019

GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY!!!

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

President Obama named him one of four Democrats who represented the future of the Democratic Party and the New York Times ran a column saying that he could be the nation’s “first gay President.”

South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, a rising national star among Democrats, will be the keynote speaker at the 2019 Gala presented by United, set to begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 2 at the Hilton Chicago.

This year’s Gala is chaired by community leader Nabeela Rasheed and is on track to be one of our most successful and vibrant yet! Each year we award inspirational leaders and organizations whose selfless work helps create a world that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. This year for their dedication to social justice and equality, Channyn Lynne Parker of Howard Brown’s Broadway Youth Center, and Danny Wirtz the Vice-Chairman of Breakthru Beverage Group will be the recipients of the 2019 Equality Illinois Freedom Award. The Equality Illinois Organization Leadership Award, given annually to organizations that demonstrate remarkable vision, courage, and leadership in the efforts to achieve full equality for LGBTQ individuals in Illinois, will be presented to Illinois AFL-CIO.

 

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.

 


On National Coming Out Day, Equality Illinois Calls on Governor Rauner to Ensure His Appointments Better Reflect the Full Diversity of Illinois

October 11, 2018

On National Coming Out Day, when we should be celebrating the full diversity of the LGBTQ community in Illinois, Equality Illinois is extremely disappointed in the unbelievable lack of LGBTQ representation among the more than 400 appointments made by Governor Rauner to state boards and commissions during Fiscal Year 2018, the civil rights organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Illinoisans said on Thursday. Of the 431 appointments the governor made between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, only 1 appointee publicly identifies as a lesbian, gay, or bisexual person.

 

Leading Civil Rights Organizations Urge Governor Rauner to Sign Bill that Would Help Protect Illinoisans from Discrimination

August 10, 2018


Seventeen leading civil rights organizations in Illinois are urging Gov. Bruce Rauner, in a letter sent to him on Tuesday, to sign legislation that would ban employment discrimination in all workplaces.

The measure, House Bill 4572, which passed the General Assembly with bipartisan support in May and is currently on the governor’s desk, would make the Illinois Human Rights Act’s workplace non-discrimination protections apply to all businesses in the state.

The organizations wrote to the governor: “At a time when anti-equality forces seek to establish licenses to discriminate and civil rights laws are under attack in state legislatures and courts across the country, signing HB 4572 would send the powerful and unmistakable message that Illinois is best and strongest when state law protects all people from discrimination. Your approval on this bill would be consistent with our state’s bipartisan values of fairness, justice, and the freedom to be who you are without burden or discrimination.”

 

Municipal Equality Index ranks Chicago first, Naperville last

October 23, 2017

Among larger Illinois communities, Naperville ranks last, scoring only 42 out of a possible 100 points, and Chicago is first in the state with 100 points in the 2017 Municipal Equality Index, the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law, policy and services.

While local officials in Naperville say it is a welcoming community, the city lost points because of a lack of pro-active leadership and programs.

The survey was conducted by the Equality Federation Institute, of which Equality Illinois is a founding member, and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

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Brief Filed in Reproductive Rights Case

January 9, 2016

wholewomenshealthThis week, the national Equality Federation of LGBT state organizations, of which Equality Illinois is a leading member, and a coalition of 13 other ‪‎LGBT‬, racial justice, and health equity organizations filed an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down draconian restrictions on abortion providers enacted by the State of Texas in 2013.

Many women, including many queer women, rely on the clinics for their reproductive and other healthcare needs.

The court will hear the case on March 2, with a ruling expected this spring.

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