Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


LGBTBIQ+ community in USA and Mexico

December 10, 2021
Durante un viaje reciente a México, nuestra Directora Adjunta, Mony Ruiz-Velasco tuvo una conversación con elle Dr. Jesus Ociel Baena Saucedo en el podcast de Legaton. En el episodio conversan sobre los derechos de las comunidades LGBTQI+ en EUA y México.
(During a recent trip to Mexico our Deputy Director Mony Ruiz-Velasco sat in conversation with Dr. Jesus Ociel Baena Saucedo on the Legatón podcast. In the episode they discussed the reach of the rights of the LGBTBIQ+ community in USA 🗽 and Mexico 🇲🇽🙌!)

Listen to the Podcast today!


Hispanic Heritage Month!

September 15, 2021

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month! From September 15th to October 15th, we will be honoring Latinx LGBTQ+ trailblazers and organizations who are doing amazing things in our community!

Sylvia Rivera was a Venezuelan/Puerto Rican American trans activist. Most known as one of the inciters of the monumental Stonewall Uprising in New York City, along with her friend, Marsha P. Johnson. Sylvia also helped found STAR, a group dedicated to helping homeless trans youth. In addition to being one of the first trans youth shelters STAR was also one of the first political organizations for trans rights in the world. Today the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) is named in her honor. SRLP is a non-profit organization that engages in policy work and provides trainings and free legal services for trans, intersex, and gender non-conforming low-income people of color.


Happy PRIDE Month!

June 2, 2021


Mony Ruiz-Velasco will join the Equality Illinois team

May 24, 2021

We are excited to announce that Mony Ruiz Velasco will join Equality Illinois as its Deputy Director on July 15th.


2021 Virtual LGBTQ Advocacy Day

May 7, 2021




April 6, 2021

Today is your last day to vote in local elections for important offices like school boards, city councils, and townships!

You can vote until 7 p.m. If you are in line to vote at 7 p.m., stay in line. Find your voting location: https://ova.elections.il.gov/PollingPlaceLookup.aspx.


Equality Illinois 30th Anniversary Virtual Gala!

February 3, 2021

Click Here to make a donation


January 12, 2021

As the Illinois General Assembly navigates the remaining 24 hours of the 101st General Assembly in Springfield, Equality Illinois applauds the bold leadership of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus in their work to eliminate systemic racism and advance long overdue and long delayed equity and justice for Black Illinoisans, including Black LGBTQ Illinoisans.

We know the legislative process is fast moving and will involve thoughtful debates and substantive amendments.  We want to take the time to thank the Black Caucus for the reforms on the table, reforms that will make the lives of Black Illinoisans, including Black LGBTQ Illinoisans, better.  There is much to call out about these remarkable pieces of legislation.  We admire the robust criminal justice reforms, including limiting the use of force by police officers, safeguarding civilian’s rights through heightened accountability for police officers, and strengthening the Illinois Attorney General’s authority to take action against harmful police departments.  We honor the enhanced efforts to ensure educational equity, including the greater emphasis on restorative justice and the teaching of Black history in schools.  We appreciate the proposals to bring about greater economic equity, including a comprehensive approach to equitable economic development and an insistence on meeting equity goals in the state’s historic cannabis legalization law. And we honor the insistence that healthcare equity is only fully realized when healthcare providers are culturally competent and healthcare institutions are collecting the right information.

The Black Caucus agenda is a real opportunity to end systemic racism and build an Illinois that lives up to her values of equality, equity, fairness, justice, and opportunity.  As these bills move through the legislative process and onto the Governor’s desk, we call on all members to keep the spirit of equity and the courage to be bold at the center of the work.


Equality Illinois 30th Anniversary Gala

December 8, 2020

We are excited to announce Molson Coors as the Presenting Sponsor for the Equality Illinois 30th Anniversary Gala.

For over a decade Molson Coors has been one of the staunchest supporters of Equality Illinois.  Our work advancing LGBTQ full equality in Illinois has been made stronger with Molson Coors in our corner.  Additionally, for the past seventeen consecutive years, Molson Coors has earned a perfect score on the HRC Equality Index signifying it is one of the most LGBTQ inclusive workplaces in the country. We couldn’t be prouder to have a company who has served as such a robust champion of LGBTQ equality serve as our Presenting Sponsor for this historic event.

The 30th Anniversary Gala will be held virtually on February 6, 2021.  To Sponsor, join the Host Committee, or purchase a ticket, click here.


Announcing Equality Illinois’ 30th Anniversary Gala

October 27, 2020

CLICK HERE to join us!


EI Press Release

October 2, 2020


October 2, 2020

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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Special Message from CEO Brian C. Johnson

June 1, 2020

Pride at its core is a police protest…It is our duty to stand with our LGBTQ African-American siblings and demand better from police.”
Hear the personal message from our CEO Brian C. Johnson


EI Day of Action for Yoni Pizer for State Rep.!

February 21, 2020

Join Equality Illinois and team Pizer for a day of action on Saturday, February 29th at 11:00 am! We will be knocking doors, making calls, and texting voters! 

Let’s get ready to hit the streets and tell voters why Yoni Pizer is the right choice to represent the 12th House District!

Feb 29, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Yoni Pizer HQ , 3221 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657, USA


Community Advisory Group

November 4, 2019

Meet the 2019-2020 Equality Illinois Community Advisory Group!

The Community Advisory Group contributes to Equality Illinois’ understanding of the many issues that LGBTQ Illinoisans experience every day. And, at a time when many LGBTQ individuals are feeling isolated, anxious, and frustrated about policymaking, Equality Illinois is dedicated to ensuring our policy agenda is developed through the consistent and ongoing engagement of many voices, perspectives, and lived experiences.


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.


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.


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 select 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


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.



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.”


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.


Equality Illinois 2019 Gala SOLD OUT!

January 18, 2019

As of today, the largest formal LGBTQ equality event in the Midwest, the Equality Illinois 2019 Gala has SOLD OUT of Individual Tickets!

We are incredibly grateful for the breath of support shown to the LGBTQ community. Selling out a venue like the Chicago Hilton demonstrates how important LGBTQ people are to the fabric of this state.  

If you will be joining a sponsor or table captain at one of their tables, please reach out to them for the link to secure your ticket.

This year’s Gala is chaired by community leader Nabeela Rasheed. South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, a rising national star among Democrats, will be the keynote speaker!  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 we will celebrate and honor Channyn Lynne Parker, Danny Wirtz, and the Illinois AFL-CIO.



January 11, 2019

Ahead of Chicago’s approaching mayoral election, LGBTQ Chicagoans have an opportunity to hear directly about issues impacting their lives at the LGBTQ Forum with Chicago Mayoral Candidates on Saturday, January 19 at 2 p.m. #LGTBQMayor2019

Mayoral candidates who have confirmed attendance as of Jan. 8 include: Gery Chico, Amara Enyia, Bob Fioretti, LaShawn Ford, Jerry Joyce, John Kozlar, Lori Lightfoot, Garry McCarthy, Susana Mendoza, Toni Preckwinkle, and Paul Vallas.

Submit questions for the candidates and RSVP by clicking the Learn more button.


New Majority House Leader State Rep. Greg Harris

January 10, 2019

Equality Illinois Celebrates the Appointment of Openly Gay State Rep. Greg Harris as Illinois House Majority Leader and Thanks Speaker Michael J. Madigan for his Leadership

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

“We are excited by Speaker Michael J. Madigan’s appointment today of State Representative Greg Harris to be the next Illinois House Majority Leader. This is a historic appointment. Leader Harris is the first openly gay person to hold the important role of Illinois House Majority Leader.

“We know Leader Harris as a true champion of advancing justice and equality for LGBTQ people and all historically marginalized communities. We look forward to working with him in this significant leadership role to continue advancing justice in Illinois.

“We thank Speaker Madigan for his significant leadership in advancing LGBTQ equality in Illinois. Just yesterday, we heard in nominating speeches of the Speaker’s critical role in passing marriage equality legislation in Illinois. Today, his appointment of Leader Harris further demonstrates the Speaker’s commitment to LGBTQ equality and representation.”


Happy New Year from Equality Illinois

January 2, 2019

Here’s to another year of working towards creating a more inclusive, diverse and progressive Illinois.

Equality Illinois wishes EVERYONE a happy, healthy, safe and equal 2019!


Human Rights Ordinance

December 21, 2018

On December 21, 1988, with a vote of 28-17 the City Council passed the Human Rights Ordinance. This Passage of the ordinance on Human Rights, was a turning point in Chicago LGBT history because it granted the queer community  social equality under the law and made it illegal to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals and other kinds of diversity and other such as people with disabilities, marital status, race, age, religion and several other categories.

It was because of the strategies of the late Mayor Harold Washington, and the powerful “Gang of four”; Laurie Dittman, Rick Garcia, Arthur (Art) Johnston and the late Jon-Henri Damski; who served as a fierce group of activists and were instrumental in the final passage of the ordinance.

We are grateful for their efforts and countless others in our community, who have contributed and committed to the equality we have been granted today.

To learn more about this historic ordinance visit: https://www.equalityillinois.us/issue/anti-discrimination/