Rockford-area Methodists protest anti-LGBTQ vote

ROCKFORD — United Methodist churches in the Rockford area are pushing back against the denomination’s vote to keep and strengthen anti-LGBTQ rules. The Rockford Register-Star reported that a group of Methodist ministers gathered at State Street and Alpine Road with signs showing their support for LGBTQ members. The action comes one day after the denomination’s international conference voted to reject the One Church policy that would have let regions and churches set their own LGBTQ policies. Instead, the conservative Traditional Plan, which no only keep bans on same-sex marriages in the church and LGBTQ clergy but also requires stronger enforcement. We’ll update as we hear more.

Inclusive game night with Yellow Brick Road on Wednesday

BELOIT, Wisc. — The Yellow Brick Road Organization of Beloit is hosting an inclusive game night this Wednesday

From the Facebook event:
Join us for a night of games, good food, and laughter! This is a LGBTQIA+ social event for us to get to know one another and create a sense of community. Open to everyone. Refreshments will be served.

LGBTQ Inclusive Care Panel Discussion in Rockford

ROCKFORD — PFLAG Rockford will be hosting a discussion on LGBTQ healthcare at the UIC College of Medicine Partner’s Pavilion in Rockford on Monday, Feb. 25. From the Facebook event:
We welcome you to a panel discussion about LGBTQ+ healthcare so we can make this better for everyone involved! The LGBTQ+ & Allies group at UIC aims to improve LGBTQ+ medical education and cultural competency. This panel will help us determine what those gaps currently are and how we can improve them in order to better LGBTQ+ healthcare.

Prtizker signs exec order to restore HIV funding

ROCKFORD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, signed an executive order restoring public health funding for HIV care. From the State Journal-Register of Springfield:
He signed an executive order to expand access to the medicine known as PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, which can reduce the chances of getting HIV. PrEP funding was a casualty of the state budget impasse. The order also increases funding for HIV testing, the African American HIV/AIDS Response Act and other public health initiatives. “That’s what we’re here to do — to eradicate the HIV epidemic.

Transgender Day of Remembrance event set in DeKalb

DEKALB — Churches in DeKalb have scheduled a service for Transgender Day of Remembrance. The Daily Chronicle of DeKalb reported that the service would be tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. at  Westminster Presbyterian Church, 830 N. Annie Glidden Road in DeKalb. There will be a light meal afterwards. The service is one of many TDOR events around Illinois. From the Daily Chronicle:
The pastors of Westminster Presbyterian Church, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, First Congregational Church and Fox Valley Presbyterian Church are participating in the service.

Coming Out Day – Shatter The Fear in Rockford

ROCKFORD — PFLAG Rockford Chapter will be giving people a chance release their frustrations for National Coming Out Day on Thursday, Oct. 11. From their Facebook event:
Have you ever been so frustrated you just want to smash something? As we know, coming out can be a joyous occasion! Although, this is not the case for everyone.

IDOC denies abuse allegations in transgender inmate’s lawsuit

BELLEVILLE — The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) has denied abuse allegations made in a transgender inmate’s lawsuit on Monday. The Belleville News-Democrat reported Wednesday that IDOC had responded to a lawsuit filed by Deon “Strawberry” Hampton. She sued to be moved to a women’s correctional facility. She has been moved to several men’s prisons across the state. Hampton is serving a 10 year sentence for robbery and is currently at the Dixon Correctional Center.

Transgender inmate sues Illinois to change prisons

EAST ST. LOUIS — A transgender woman at a northern Illinois men’s prison is suing the state corrections department to be housed at a women’s prison, according to WGN TV. The Chicago TV station reported that Deon “Strawberry” Hampton has sued the Illinois Department of Corrections before. They have have been moved to four different prisons in the past year. Hampton has said they’ve suffered abuse at several male prisons.