Equality Illinois

Equality Illinois condemns overturning transgender youth protections

CHICAGO – On behalf of the 53,645 stakeholders of Equality Illinois in Illinois, their resident friends and families and all who care deeply about issues of equality and fairness, Equality Illinois condemns the decision of the Trump administration to tear up the 2016 federal guidance protecting the civil rights and equal treatment of transgender youth in our public schools. “We are outraged the Trump Administration would choose to target transgender children for discrimination. Rescinding the guidance letter sends a terrible message and invites personal bias to flourish in our public schools,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. Equality Illinois reminds Illinois school districts that they should not feel free to adopt discriminatory policies despite the federal action. Title IX of the federal education law still protects transgender students, as most courts have agreed, and Illinois law prohibits discrimination in public places.

Illinois Leather Alliance looking for 2017 contestants

CHICAGO — The Illinois Leather Alliance is looking for contestants for this year’s contest at the Leather Archives & Museum on March 17 and 18 in Chicago. There are five contests people can enter:
Illinois Leather Sir/Leather boy Contest
The Illinois Leather Sir / Leather boy titleholders represent the sexual side of Leather. Leather Sir/Leather boy titleholders educate newcomers, network with their leather brothers and support the erotic expression of Leather and Leathersex! (Click here for more information.)

Illinois Ms. Leather Pride Contest
Ms. Leather Pride titleholders promote a positive image of the women’s alternative sex-positive community, including Leather/BDSM/fetish communities. They will have the opportunity to wear many hats: mentor, educator, role model, advocate. (Click here for more information.)

Illinois Puppy/Trainer Contest
The Illinois Puppy/Trainer titles reflect the diversity, excitement and energy that comes from human puppy play and Puppy/Trainer interaction.

Equality Illinois

Modernizing birth certificate law to help Illinois’ transgender residents

CHICAGO – A proposal to update and modernize a more than half-century old law allowing people to change the gender marker on their Illinois birth certificate was filed today in the Illinois House. The measure, House Bill 1785, is sponsored by State Representative Greg Harris (13th District) and supported by organizations across the state, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, Equality Illinois, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Howard Brown Health, Lambda Legal, and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance. Illinois first allowed persons to change the gender marker on a birth certificate in the 1950s. Under this standard, a person can only correct the gender marker if they have undergone a surgical procedure. House Bill 1785 modernizes the law by updating the standard to clinically appropriate treatment, thereby aligning Illinois law with a growing list of states and the federal government that allow the gender on birth certificates, passports, and other identification documents to be changed without surgery.

Equality Illinois

Equality Illinois reacts to continuation of LGBTQ workers’ protections

CHICAGO – Equality Illinois on Monday reacted to the news that the president would not rescind the protections for LGBTQ employees and contractors. While we are relieved to hear that President Trump will not, with a single stroke of his pen, create a right to discriminate against LGBTQ Americans in the workforce of the federal government or federal contractors, we remain deeply concerned about the possibility that his administration will create gaping holes in other protections. We stop short of congratulating the president for this act of supporting LGBTQ equality since we hold it as a basic expectation that all of our elected officials should insist on the fair treatment of all employees, including LGBTQ employees. And, we are deeply aware of the many ways the Trump administration could roll back equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans. In particular, we insist Trump oppose any efforts to legalize discrimination by federal agencies, employees, and contractors against LGBTQ people under the false guise of “religious freedom.” We are also watching with vigilance to ensure that the Trump administration maintains the Department of Education and Department of Justice guidance that ties federal funding to schools to the requirement that they have policies affirming the basic human dignity of transgender students.

Stopping discriminatory legislation targeting transgender students in Illinois

CHICAGO — As organizations that work with LGBTQ communities, we call on the Illinois General Assembly to reject discriminatory legislation introduced this week that would isolate and stigmatize transgender and gender non-conforming youth by forcing them to use separate restrooms and locker rooms from their peers in schools. House Bill 664 is sponsored by State Rep. Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) and is similar to a bill he introduced in the previous session of the General Assembly. With outreach to legislators and grassroots advocacy, we stopped that bill. We will stop HB 664 while continuing our advocacy for policies that respect and affirm the dignity of all students in Illinois. HB 664 sends the harmful and mean-spirited message to transgender and gender non-conforming students that they are not respected and valued in their schools, the very spaces where they should be safe and affirmed.

Illinois comes out to march for women

CHICAGO — While Chicago had the largest in the state, and one of the largest in the country, sister marches to the Women’s March on Washington took place across Illinois, including traditionally conservative cities. The Chicago Tribune reported that about 250,000 people flooded into downtown to participate in the march. Organizers originally expected 40,000 when they first announced plans and increased it to 70,000 by Friday. The crowd got so large that the march through the Loop had to be cancelled- the crowd had filled the entire route of the march. The rally still took place.

Get on Chicago Buses to Protest Trump’s Jan. 20 Inauguration

CHICAGO — Be a part of this historically crucial next step in the movement against Trump. On Jan 20, we’ll be protesting right next to the White House as the establishment swears in an adminstration of open white supremacists, war criminals and aggressively greedy billionaires. Get on the Buses from Chicago to DC for the Jan 20 protest at Trump’s inauguration. Stand Against Trump, War, Racism and Inequality. Bus seats are first come first serve, so do not delay.

Women’s March on Chicago announces speakers, march route, and rally details

CHICAGO – The Women’s March on Chicago has obtained a Rally permit and the Jan. 21 event is taking final shape with confirmation of Rally speakers and the March route. The event starts with music at 9 a.m., the Rally at 10 a.m., immediately followed by the March through downtown Chicago. The March will begin at Petrillo Bandshell and head west on Jackson, then north on Michigan, west on Adams, north on Dearborn, west on Randolph, south on Clark, and east on Jackson back to Grant Park. There will be a stopping point at Federal Plaza for those who do not wish to walk the entire March route.

Illinois Leather Alliance contest applications now available

CHICAGO — Contestant Applications for 2017 are up! Judges Information for 2017 is now available! In less than three months, we’ll be hosting our second annual Illinois Leather Alliance contest weekend! We have a wonderful slate of judges ready to see our contestants show their stuff to become the next Illinois Leather titleholders. Our 2016 titleholders have done a wonderful job, but it’s getting close to when they step aside and let someone else pursue their dreams and opportunities. Will that be you?