Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category


EI Holiday Campaign

November 2, 2020

It’s an #EIHoliday! Thank you to our Holiday Campaign Committee for pledging to donate $100 or recruit three friends to give $25 each in support of our critical work to achieve full equality for all LGBTQ folks in Illinois. Click the image here to join the Committee or give what you can, and be sure to share your reason for giving this season with the hashtag #EIHoliday on your social media pages.


EI’s Endorsed Candidates

October 16, 2020

To achieve full, lived equality for all LGBTQ+ people, Equality Illinois is committed to endorsing and supporting pro-equality candidates who will fight for civil rights and social justice.

Equality Illinois proudly endorses the following candidates for the General Election on November 3, 2020.


Voting 2020 Town Hall

October 13, 2020

The 2020 election, the most impactful of our lifetime, is underway, and Election Day is quickly approaching. On October 19 from 10 – 11 AM, Equality Illinois will host a Zoom Town Hall to answer all of your questions about voting safely and securely and to let you know what you can do in these remaining days to get out the vote.

RSVP today HERE.

State Senator Julie Morrison, the chief senate sponsor of the new law that expanded vote by mail opportunities in 2020, and Grace Pai, Director of Organizing at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, will share their expert insights on these critical issues. We want to make sure you are fully informed about all the different ways to vote as well as share information on how to volunteer and help people vote. There will be time for live Q&A at the end of the discussion.

You will receive the Zoom information in an email before the event.

Please RSVP as soon as possible! Only the first 100 RSVPs can join us for the Town Hall.


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.



Equality Illinois PAC Makes First 2018 Endorsements

October 19, 2017

The Equality Illinois PAC is endorsing 32 incumbent legislators in its first round of endorsements as the state heads into the 2018 election cycle.

The Equality Illinois PAC is the only statewide political entity dedicated to defending and securing the rights of LGBTQ Illinoisans though engagement in the electoral process.



2 things you can do after the election

November 9, 2016

post-election-messageThe results of the 2016 election were devastating to so many Americans.

We in the LGBTQ community know that if we do not stand up for other historically marginalized groups when they are attacked, we will have no one left to stand up for us when we are attacked. That is why we are calling on our champions and allies to publicly and proudly support groups most under attack.

To that end we have established donation pages so that the LGBTQ community of Illinois can stand up with a consolidated voice in support of immigrants, Muslims, and victims of sexual assault: Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago), Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.



November 8, 2016


It’s Election Day in Illinois. Here, our progress is the result of our victories at the ballot box. That’s why, when you vote today, it’s important to support every candidate in your community who champions the LGBTQ community. Your voting location is open until 7 p.m.

Don’t know where to vote? Find out HERE.

Don’t know which candidates to support? Check out the Equality Illinois PAC’s list of endorsed pro-LGBTQ candidates

When you wake up tomorrow, don’t regret that you didn’t exercise your voice to advance LGBTQ equality and justice.

It’s time to vote.


Taking it to the voting booth

November 4, 2016
An election message from CEO Brian C. Johnson

vote-early-today-500x419314 votes. That’s it. Rep. Mike Smiddy won re-election in 2014 by only 314 votes.

In November 2013, when Rep. Smiddy–who hails from tiny Hillsdale (population 588)–was a freshman legislator in the Illinois House, he voted for marriage equality. In a western Illinois district where the consequences of his courageous vote were unclear, he stood up for our community.  When marriage equality passed the Illinois House by just one vote, it became clear that Rep. Smiddy’s vote was essential to ensuring the freedom to marry in Illinois.

This summer, when I had lunch with Rep. Smiddy at Barrel House, a restaurant in Moline, I asked him why he cast that vote when it could have cost him his political career.  He simply responded, “Because it was the right thing to do.”

In 2014, he almost didn’t get re-elected.  314 votes were all that stood between the LGBTQ community having a champion of our equality in the 71st District and an uncertain future for us in the General Assembly.


In a time when the stakes for our country are so high, it can be easy to focus on the critical national races. But right now, there are over 1,900 people running for public office in Illinois.  They are seeking out roles that will govern every aspect of our lives: how we are treated in schools, what services our most vulnerable community members have access to, how sustainable our future will be.

Some of these candidates see our move toward equality as a threat and will work hard to cut back on our hard-fought victories. They want to introduce legislation that will stigmatize our transgender children in school or legalize discrimination against LGBTQ people.

And others, like Rep. Mike Smiddy, are working tirelessly to support our community to move to the full equality and acceptance we deserve.


Election Day is November 8. I ask you to stand up for LGBTQ equality and vote, whether that be this week at Early Vote Stations or on Election Day. And don’t just vote for the candidate you support for President or U.S. Senate, but vote for every candidate in your community who is willing to champion the LGBTQ community. If you are unsure whom to support, check out the list of pro-LGBTQ candidates the Equality Illinois PAC has endorsed.  Show our state that when elected officials stand up for our community – and candidates publicly support our community – we stand with them in solidarity!




Vote Early This Week

October 29, 2016

early-voting-fbEarly voting continues this weekend in many locations throughout Illinois. If not this weekend, vote early during the week. And you can register and vote, too.

It’s easy. Our CEO Brian C. Johnson, Director of Education and Outreach Anthony Galloway, and Director of Development Eric Wilkerson have already voted early. And President Obama, too!

Your early vote allows your favorite candidates to concentrate resources on those who haven’t been to the polls yet.

Find locations and hours in every Illinois county and voting jurisdiction.




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.



The Polls Are Open!

March 15, 2016

VOTE TODAY for fb and tw

Illinois polling places are now open and will be open all day until 7 pm.

Even if you are not registered, you can still register and vote today for the first time in a presidential election.

Check you polling place and check your registration status at our 2016 Voter Information Page. Make sure your voice is heard and vote today!



Illinois Primary Voting is Underway

February 29, 2016

IllVOTE EARLY TODAY!inois Primary Voting Begins Today.

As ‪LGBT‬ citizens in other states are battling for their basic rights, the successes we’ve worked so hard for in Illinois were built on the fact that our community and our allies have voted for officials who represent us. And, we have more work to do locally and nationally.

Be sure to vote in the March 15 Illinois primary, or vote now at an early voting polling place, or vote by mail. Check your early voting location, your March 15th polling place, how to vote by mail and your voter registration status.



Equality Illinois PAC Endorses Mendoza, 24 Incumbents

February 8, 2016

ENDORSES for PAC web slideThe Equality Illinois Political Action Committee supports Susana Mendoza for the Democratic nomination for State Comptroller and the re-election of 24 incumbent state legislators who have supported measures advancing LGBT equality in Illinois.

EI PAC, the political arm of Equality Illinois, is the only statewide organization dedicated to securing and defending the rights of LGBT through engagement in the electoral process. A second round of endorsements will be made shortly.



Equality Illinois PAC Hosts David Axelrod

November 6, 2015

Axe_colorThe Equality Illinois Political Action Committee (EQIL PAC) will host a conversation on November 17 with renowned political strategist David Axelrod about the stakes and opportunities for Illinoisans in the 2016 election.

Axelrod is uniquely qualified to provide analysis about electoral and political activities and trends in Illinois and the United States. A former political reporter for the Chicago Tribune, Axelrod has managed strategy for more than 150 political campaigns, was Senior Strategist for President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, and served as Senior Advisor to the President. He is now Director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago.

Through candidate questionnaires, endorsements, campaign contributions and field support, the Equality Illinois PAC works to secure and defend the equal rights of LGBT people in Illinois. The Equality Illinois PAC is the only political action committee in Illinois that is dedicated to electing individuals to public office who will fight for the equal rights of LGBT Illinoisans.



EQILPAC Urges Runoff Support for Mayor Emanuel

March 12, 2015

Runoff Endorsements FinalThe Equality Illinois Political Action Committee (Equality Illinois PAC) today reminds voters of its endorsement of the re-election of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The Equality Illinois PAC also recommends votes for Ald. James Cappleman (46th Ward) and candidate Raymond Lopez (15th Ward) in Chicago and Springfield Alderman Cory Jobe (6th Ward).

In reiterating the endorsement of Mayor Emanuel in the April 7 runoff, Nicole Bashor, Chair of Equality Illinois PAC, said it is important for the community to stand with incumbents who expended personal and political capital to support significant issues that have improved the lives of LGBT Chicagoans throughout the city.



EQILPAC Endorses Mayor Emanuel

February 16, 2015

EQILPAC Municipal Elections 2015The Equality Illinois Political Action Committee (Equality Illinois PAC) is endorsing the re-election of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the February 24 municipal election. The Equality Illinois PAC also endorses the re-election of four incumbent LGBT aldermen in Chicago and Springfield.

“Mayor Emanuel has been a leader on LGBT issues in Chicago, and that’s why he’s the choice of Equality Illinois PAC,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.

“He has led the city forward and ensured Chicago is welcoming to LGBT families, seniors, workers, and immigrants. Mayor Emanuel was also a crucial ally in our successful fight for the freedom to marry in Illinois.”



In Victory, Bruce Rauner Needs to Serve All Illinoisans

November 5, 2014

The people of Illinois have spoken, giving Bruce Rauner the chance to lead. As do all Illinoisans, we hope that as Bruce Rauner turns to governing he will recognize that he serves everyone in the state, including LGBT individuals and their families, and the clear majority of Illinoisans who support LGBT equality.

As Mr. Rauner wraps up his political campaign, Equality Illinois will be ready to work with him to advance equal treatment and social justice for all in the Land of Lincoln.

Equality Illinois also congratulates Governor Pat Quinn on running a campaign and an administration that embraced all Illinoisans.

Under Pat Quinn’s leadership, we advanced protections for students from bullying and violence in schools, we made history by recognizing marriage equality, and countless people got a job, a home, insurance, a mortgage, a business opportunity because of anti-discrimination vigilance by the Quinn administration. We made great strides toward fairness and equal treatment for all. We thank Governor Quinn for his years of service.

Despite the governor’s loss, significant wins were scored in the general election.



Equality Illinois Says ‘Thank You’ as the Polls Close

November 4, 2014

As we await the election results, a big THANK YOU to everyone who voted and most especially to everyone who gave their time, money and energy in this election to fight to ensure that the voices of LGBT Illinoisans were heard.

You’ve knocked on countless doors and phoned tens of thousands of voters; you marched and rallied and talked to friends and family.

And, we were heard. You made sure that even opponents of marriage equality accept that it is now the unchangeable law in Illinois.



The Polls Are Open!

November 4, 2014

VotePin.jogThe polls are open today, November 4, 6 AM to 7 PM for the General Election

Check your voter registration status and find your local polling place HERE:

Same-day voter registration and voting is available at limited locations:
In ChicagoCook County Suburbs, and throughout Illinois at Local Election Authorities.



Election Day Endorsements

November 3, 2014

EQIL PAC Endorsements 2014

Governor Pat Quinn’s leading role in achieving first civil unions and then marriages for same-sex couples, his open and inclusive administration, and his strong support for policies that protect LGBT students from bullying and LGBT workers from discrimination make Governor Quinn the choice of the Equality Illinois Political Action Committee, the only statewide PAC focused on LGBT issues.

In other statewide races, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Secretary of State Jesse White–two Democrats–and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka–a Republican–were there for us during the crucial fight for the freedom to marry in Illinois. And with their votes in the legislature, Rep. Tom Cross, a Republican, and Sen. Mike Frerichs, a Democrat, were critical in the marriage bill’s narrow victory.

As with the statewide endorsements, the choices for the General Assembly reflect the commitment of Equality Illinois PAC to recognize candidates from both sides of the aisle for their support of LGBT issues.



Rauner Rebuked for Anti-LGBT, Anti-Women Tactic

October 31, 2014

Rauner flyerEquality Illinois is condemning Republican nominee for governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois Republican Party for attacking a rival candidate for supporting marriage equality and women’s rights.

The campaign tactic was funded by Rauner despite his protestations that he has no social agenda, Crain’s Chicago Business reported Friday.

A flyer and robocalls put out by the Rauner-funded Illinois Republican Party attack Libertarian nominee for governor, Chad Grimm, who Republicans fear will siphon votes from Rauner and help Gov. Pat Quinn win re-election.



We’re Getting Out the Vote

October 31, 2014

EQILPAC VOTEPhone banks in the Equality Illinois offices are working into the night identifying voters and urging them to get to the polls to elect pro-equality candidates.

The Equality Illinois Political Action Committee supports candidates from both sides of the aisle who have proven to be champions of LGBT equality. Here is a list of our endorsed candidates.

There is still time to vote early at your local jurisdiction. In fact, you can Vote Early this weekend, with some locations even open on Sunday.

Voting on Election Day, November 4? Look up your polling location.


Weekend Early Voting in Illinois

October 24, 2014


Many Early Voting polling places in Chicago, the suburbs and throughout Illinois have weekend voting hours.

This important election will determine our state leadership and the makeup of the Illinois General Assembly. Make sure your voice is heard.

Check out your local Early Voting polling place and hours.