National orgs promise action against proposed federal transgender policy

WASHINGTON — Advocacy groups promised Monday to fight a proposed policy that would erase transgender people from federal policy protections. James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project, issued this statement on the ACLU website:
“This is an attack on the very lives and existence of transgender people. It is painful, it is hateful, and it will not go unchallenged. Transgender people have the right to not only exist, but to fully participate in public life. Transgender people are real and transgender lives have meaning.

Equality Illinois

Equality Illinois asks for Advisory Board applications

CHICAGO — Statewide LGBTQ rights group Equality Illinois is asking for members of the Illinois LGBTQ communities to join its advisory board. From the EI website:
As part of our commitment to an ongoing dialogue with stakeholders across Illinois, Equality Illinois launched the Community Advisory Group in 2016. The group is a diverse cross-section of voices from across Illinois that informs the policy positions and initiatives we adopt and pursue in our work to secure and defend the equal and inclusive rights of LGBTQ Illinoisans. If you’re interested, go to the application page to review the objectives and responsibilities of the Community Advisory Group, then download, complete, and return the application to Mike Ziri, Equality Illinois Director of Public Policy, at mziri@eqil.org. Applications are due no later than August 10, 2018 so that we can begin to review and select members.

O’Fallon school board member gets calls to resign after calling book “social indoctrination”

O’FALLON, Ill. — A school board member has received calls to resign after calling for a children’s book on social activism “social indoctrination.” From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
After a school board member here questioned the use of a book about a girl learning about social activism in a children’s program at the local library, dozens of parents, teachers and students showed up at a school board meeting Tuesday night to urge him to step down. But the board member, Steve Springer, said he has no intention of stepping down.

Women’s March Chicago announces affiliation with national organization

CHICAGO — Women’s March Chicago announced its affiliation with March On, a national organization of womens’ marches and progressive organizations, on Friday. The move is intended to amplify the group’s local actions in its focus on motivating women and their allies to get to the polls for the 2018 election. Similar actions are being planned by other women’s march organizers around the world, furthering the alignment and power of the movement.

Equality Illinois to honor transgender youth activist Jazz Jennings

CHICAGO – For her activism on behalf of her fellow transgender youth, Jazz Jennings will be honored at the 2018 Equality Illinois Gala as the first recipient of the Spotlight Award.

The presentation of the Equality Illinois Spotlight Award will be made at the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ formal celebration, to be held on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at the Hilton Chicago, Equality Illinois announced Thursday.

LGBTQ civil rights org ask state fairgoers to support transgender troops

SPRINGFIELD — Equality Illinois is at the Illinois State Fair, which opened Thursday, seeking support from fairgoers against President Trump’s proposed ban on transgender people serving in the military. Fairgoers who stop by the Equality Illinois booth during the State Fair, which runs now through Aug. 20 in Springfield, will be able to sign a message to their U.S. representative that Equality Illinois will forward to Washington. “Illinoisans believe in inclusion and fairness. Over the years at the Illinois State Fair, we have engaged with thousands of Illinoisans from every corner of the state who support LGBTQ civil rights,” said Brian C. Johnson, chief executive officer of Equality Illinois, the statewide civil rights organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Illinoisan.

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.

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 mobilizes for Women’s March on Washington at inauguration

CHICAGO – Part of a nationwide groundswell that originated the day after the presidential elections, women and men from across the state of Illinois are preparing to join the national Women’s March on Washington Sat., Jan. 21, 2017 in Washington, D.C. the day after the inauguration of the next president of the United States. Illinois organizers Mrinalini Chakraborty, Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth, Amber Hummel, Julie List, Amanda Jane Long, and Amanda Drenth, have been coordinating the promotion and logistics needed to make sure those Illinoisans who want to attend the march in D.C., are able to. They are coordinating buses throughout the state that marchers can buy individual seats on (through the RallyBus platform), as well as organizing efforts for sponsored buses for those marchers in need of financial assistance. “We realize that our rights are severely threatened and hard-earned progress in civil rights for women, people of color, immigrants, religious minorities, the disabled, the LGBTQIA community, and many other vulnerable groups, is in danger of being erased.