Springfield, Peoria host rallies against anti-trans violence

A sign from the Springfield rally for the Illinois National Day of Action to End Violence and Genocide on Transgender People. Photo by Tom Wray

Springfield and Peoria both saw rallies for the National Day of Action to End Violence and Genocide on Trans People this past weekend.

The Springfield rally was held at the Illinois State Capitol in front of the Lincoln statue and the Peoria rally was at OSF St. Francis. The locations were intentional. Over the past two years, hundreds of anti-trans bills has been filed across the country, including Illinois. In conservative states such as neighboring Missouri, Indiana and Kentucky, they have become law.

With Peoria, OSF has come under fire discriminatory polices against LGBTQ people, including denying LGBTQ employees to the same family planning benefits enjoyed by heterosexual workers. As a Catholic-operated hospital, it has also refused to provide abortion services. OSF St. Francis is the sixth-largest hospital in Illinois and OSF itself is one of the largest healthcare networks in the state.

Although each rally was small with only a couple of dozen appearing at Springfield, that didn’t stop those attending from showing their support. Speakers included Samuel Grayson, who also organized the Springfield rally; Garvery-Tubman Center Executive Director Shatriya Smith, who has a transgender child; activist Salem Addison Smith; and and others.

There were few disruptions at the Springfield rally, with only one person shouting as they drove by. Other drivers honked their horns in support.

Springfield Rally. Photos by Tom Wray.

Peoria Rally. Photos by Lawrence Maushard