EQIL Insider Scoop – June 2014


In the JUNE EQIL Insider Scoop:


PRIDE 2014


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PRIDE 2014 = What a special moment and joyous time in our history. This is the first pride season where Illinois will enjoy the freedom to marry for all couples who want the recognition and rights that come with marriage for themselves and their families.

As of June 1, all 102 counties must now be issuing marriage licenses, with the proper forms for same-sex couples. Also, counties should have the forms to convert civil unions to marriages for those couples who want to take advantage of that provision of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.

Three years ago today, civil unions became available in the Land of Lincoln, and the state’s county clerks smoothly began complying with the new law. We are sure that every Illinois county clerk will fully comply with the new marriage law. But should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Equality Illinois at 773-477-7173 or email at info@eqil.org.

In two pamphlets, we have answered many questions about the law in our updated Equality Illinois guide “Marriage Rights in Illinois,” and there is also an EQIL listing of hundreds of clergy members who are available to officiate at your wedding if you choose a religious element for the ceremony.


PAYING TRIBUTE = This Sunday, we honor the leaders who made our victory possible at the Equality Illinois Tribute Champagne Brunch at the JW Marriott in Chicago’s Loop, headlined by Gov. Pat Quinn, Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and the two chief sponsors of the marriage bill, Rep. Greg Harris and Sen. Heather Steans, plus many more.

Join us for this special once-in-a-lifetime celebration on June 8.


FESTIVAL SEASON = The 2014 season of pride events, street fairs and community festivals is now underway, made even more festive this year because the freedom to marry is in effect in Illinois. We got off to a great start at Springfield PrideFest last month.

Next up is Midsommarfest in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood this coming Saturdayand Sunday, followed in a few weeks by the big Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday, June 29.

Stop by our Midsommarfest booth on Clark Street and watch for our float in the Pride Parade.

Even better, why not join in the fun by volunteering at one of our festival booths, such as for Northalsted Market Days in August, or marching with our Pride Parade contingent. If you are interested, contact EQIL’s Chris Huaracha at 773-477-7173 or chuaracha@eqil.org.

(l-r) Gautam Raghavan, Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Meg Gorecki at the Equality Illinois LGBT Equality Institute






MAPPING THE FUTURE = A crowd of advocates and allies attending the daylongLGBT Equality Institute in Chicago’s Embassy Suites Lakefront Hotel were treated to a myriad of discussions on issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans and the strategies for addressing them.

One highlight of the day was the lunchtime panel discussion by U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Gautam RaghavanWhite House Advisor on LGBT Issues, and Meg Gorecki, Midwest Director for the U.S. Department of Justice. All three panelists stressed the work that’s left to accomplish at the federal level, including ending employment discrimination, integrating transgender members of the military, repealing the lifetime ban on homosexual men donating blood, and writing a national anti-bullying policy.



EQIL State Report

The Illinois General Assembly concluded its spring session over the weekend, with some key successes for LGBT Illinoisans:

Strengthening anti-bullying policies: House Bill 5707, sponsored by Rep. Kelly Cassidy in the House and Sen. Heather Steans in the Senate, enhances state anti-bullying policy by writing a comprehensive state standard to be implemented by school districts. The bill requires schools to have an anti-bullying policy in place, investigate cases of bullying, and create a yearly report of incidents. It passed the House and Senate with strong bi-partisan majorities.


 Passing the Voting Rights Constitutional Amendment: This amendment would ban voter suppression tactics that have been passed in other states, including those that would put in place voting restrictions targeting LGBT Illinoisans. Approved by the House and the Senate, the amendment now goes to voters this November.


FIRST FRIDAY = Join the Equality Illinois PAC on Friday, June 6 for the popular and fun First Friday monthly social; this month’s special guests are from Chicago’s About Face Theatre.

About Face Theatre creates exceptional, innovative,and adventurous plays to advance the national dialogue on gender and sexual identity, and to challenge and entertain audiences in Chicago, across the country, and around the world. First Friday will feature special prize drawings, including for a $100 Starbucks gift card.

A great crowd always joins us for First Friday, so please come by for the fun, cocktails, musicals, and door prize drawings. For a $10 donation at the door to the Equality Illinois PAC, you receive two drink tickets and a ticket to be entered in our door prize drawing.Friday, June 5, 6–8pm @ Sidetrack, 3349 North Halsted Street in Chicago (21+ with ID).

Contributions support Equality Illinois PAC. Paid for by Equality Illinois PAC. Contributions are not tax deductible. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website, elections.il.gov, or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois. State law requires that we report the occupation and name of the employer of any individual who contributes over $500.00.


NO SOY UN NUMERO = This Wednesday, June 4, join us for “No Soy Un Número (I am not a number): A Trans Latina Panel” hosted by United Latino Pride with the help of Equality Illinois and Howard Brown Health Center. The event runs from 5 pm – 9 pm (program to start at 6 pm) at La Catrina Café – 1011 W. 18th Street, Chicago.

Every transgender story is different, every story has a different outcome, and every struggle is unique. Trans Latina voices are seldom heard, and it’s time for them to be heard loud and proud!



WELCOME TO THE FAMILY = The Family Institute at Northwestern University, in partnership with Equality Illinois, invites you to attend this panel discussion “Gay & Married: Welcome to the family,” narrated by Equality Illinois’ Patty Dillon.

Join us on Thursday, June 5, 2014, 6:00 p.m. registration; 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.reception & presentation, at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted Street, Chicago. There’s a suggested $25 donation for members of Equality Illinois.


 = Join Equality Illinois at the Chicago Sky game on Sunday, June 22 to celebrate Pride. This will be a nationally televised game of the Women’s National Basketball Association as part of its newly launched WNBA Pride initiative.

 The special Pride Package includes lots of extras! When ordering tickets, use thespecial offer code EQUAL, and a portion of your tickets benefits the work of Equality Illinois and our advocacy on behalf of LGBT Illinoisans.

Buy just the tickets, or buy a ticket/bus combo that includes transportation from either Hamburger Mary’s in Andersonville or Minibar in Lakeview.


U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley addresses an EQIL Capitol Club briefing.

FEDERAL UPDATE = U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, in the latest of the Equality Illinois Policy Briefings, told members of the EQIL Capitol Club about his efforts to end the federal government’s lifetime ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men, as well as the status of legislation on employment discrimination, LGBT-inclusive immigration reform and the ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS.

The breakfast was hosted by the Schiff Hardin law firm in Willis Tower. On the blood donation ban, Rep. Quigley said he is hoping the government will lift the ban by the end of 2014.

 = A capacity crowd filled Sidetrack last month for the semi-annual Wine Tasting, this one made even more celebratory than usual by the coming arrival of marriage equality throughout Illinois.


Perhaps some of the tasters were sampling wines for a coming nuptial? There were at least 99 wines to taste from. Look for the next Wine Tasting at Sidetrack benefiting Equality Illinois in the fall.



Stay up-to-date on Equality Illinois community events on our websitewww.eqil.org/events

Relive the fun and excitement of the Equality Illinois 2014 Gala with videos of the program and hundreds of pictures (available for purchase) of the guests, the celebs and the dancing! Click here

If you would like an Equality Illinois speaker at your event at work, a local civic organization, on campus, a union meeting, your religious group, a home EQIL fundraiser, or wherever, please contact us at info@eqil.org or call 773-477-7173.

Stay informed of LGBT-equality matters by visiting us at www.eqil.org.  Also, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.  

We can only succeed in our mission if you stand with us, so please make a financial contribution today.

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