NORMAL — With Illinoisans facing uncertainty about LGBTQ rights in the Trump era and push back in some parts of the state as they try to assert their rights, Equality Illinois LGBTQ Town Halls launch Tuesday night in Bloomington-Normal and continue Wednesday night in Peoria. Future town halls are scheduled in Carbondale and the Metro East area.
“The laws that guarantee legal equality in Illinois still do not always create a true, open, lived equality for the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people and our families,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. “It’s not enough to simply join the fight against the anti-LGBTQ actions of the Trump administration in Washington. We must simultaneously build a more fair and just Illinois.”
Working with partner organization in each city, the town hall forums are scheduled for Bloomington-Normal (April 4, with Prairie Pride Coalition), Peoria (April 5, with Peoria Proud), Carbondale (April 19, with Rainbow Cafe) and Metro East (May 23, with Writers, Planners and Trainers). More town halls will be scheduled in other parts of the state.
The town halls will feature Johnson offering “An Illinois Agenda for LGBTQ Equality,” which will be based on the findings of a statewide listening tour that he conducted after assuming the leadership of Equality Illinois last June 1, hundreds of conversations with LGBTQ stakeholders in Illinois, and on a statewide survey taken last fall.
Anthony Galloway, Director of Education and Outreach of Equality Illinois, said, “The town halls will allow us to share an outline of Equality Illinois policy priorities with LGBTQ Illinoisans and our allies, particularly in regions where they may be less visible or face more challenges, and we can get their feedback for how to adjust and improve the agenda.”
More details and free registration for the town halls can be found at www.equalityillinois.org/Townhalls2017/.
Here is the town hall schedule with times and locations:
Bloomington-Normal, presented with Prairie Pride Coalition
Tuesday, April 4, 7-9 pm
Location: Normal Public Library, 206 West College, Normal
Peoria, presented with Peoria Proud
Wednesday, April 5, 6-8 pm
Location: Lakeview Library, 1137 West Lake Avenue, Peoria
Carbondale, presented with Rainbow Café
Wednesday, April 19, 6-8 pm
Location: Gaia House, 913 South Illinois Avenue, Carbondale
Metro East, presented with Writers, Planners and Trainers
Tuesday, May 23, 6-8 pm
Location: East St. Louis Community College Center, 601 James R. Thompson Blvd., East St. Louis
via press release