Category Archives: Political

From Chicago to Mexico…


The official video trailer has been released by Iconoclast for the motion picture “En Algun Lugar” (A Place to Be), which stars Nelson Rodriguez (Pride Films and Plays, Easy Abby) as Abel, and Andrew Saenz (Chicago PD, Sirens) as Diego, and written and directed by award winning filmmaker Tadeo Garcia (On the Downlow, Under Covers).


“En Algun Lugar” follows the relationship between Abel & Diego, from Chicago to Mexico.

When tragedy strikes and Diego’s undocumented immigration status is revealed, their love and sacrifice is put to the test through uncertain times that will affect their relationship. Set against the foundation of a broken U.S. immigration system, “En Algun Lugar” sheds light on the mantra of love overcomes all and love knows no borders.

Alongside Nelson Rodriguez and Andrew Saenz the cast includes Jessie Prez as Braulio, Ian Tranberg as Stephen, Sandra Marquez as Lilly, Charin Alvarez as Rita and Erica Cruz Hernandez as Carolina. Other cast include J.J. Romero, Caitlin Jackson, Blaine Thomas Childers, Enrique Guzman, Juan Martinez, Artemio Gonzalez, Carolyn Hoerdemann, Mickey O’Sullivan, Nick Mikula, Zach Livingston, Will Clinger, Diego Sanchez, Michael J. Sanow, Ayssette Munoz, Chris Acevedo, Matt Nikkila, Carmen Cenko, Daniel Hansen, Cole Reed, Frank Menolascino, Davon Suttles, Jon Jackson, Alex Knoll, Mike Hynek, Richard Cotovsky, Rudy Galvan, Diego Colon, Lane Flores, Cole McMillan and Caitlin Boho.


Tadeo Garcia’s provocative and intimate tale of love and fear of the unknown comes to life in a never before seen cinematic perspective produced by Aric S. Jackson ( and Michael J. Sanow (Under Covers, Blood Brothers). Featuring the people, culture, dynamic geography and architecture of both Jalpa, Zacatecas; MEX and Chicago, Illinois; USA, the wonder of Tadeo Garcia’s story has captivated those involved both in front and behind the camera. The producers stress this would not be possible without the talents of cinematographer Charlie Garcia, production designer Pablo Ponce, casting director Stephanie Diaz, costume designer Freddy Rocha, makeup artists Lilien Harvey and Ruby Ortiz, and music from Los Pecados and The Pinto Bean.

The producers of the film also announce the release of “behind-the-scenes” photos and video clips via the film’s official website at and its social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) showing the cast and crew during the production of “En Algun Lugar.”

En Algun Lugar aims for a mid-2017 release.

The new trailer can be viewed at .




EQIL Gala Feb 4th 2017

THIS  SATURDAY  –   February 4th –  The Big   Equality Illinois  Gala!

A  formal evening with a cocktail reception and silent auction at 6:00pm, a sit-down dinner and speaking program at 8:00pm, and dancing and live music beginning at 10:00pm.

If you have never been, it’s  a celebratory winterfest of the accomplishments that advanced LGBTQ rights over the last year and a gathering of forces for the challenges that remain in our fight for full equality for all Illinoisans.

For over two decades, Equality Illinois has led the charge to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.

We were founded in 1991 by activists who fought to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the City of Chicago. Today, we continue that fight by convincing lawmakers to vote for legislation that advances full LGBT equality and to reject bills that would discriminate against the LGBT community.”

Tickets for the Gala Evening are  $300.  If you can not attend, but still want to get involved,   Equality Illinois can always use volunteers in the office and in the field, for routine duties and special events.

If you are interested in donating a few hours a week or a month, on an ongoing basis or just when you have some time to spare, please feel out this form first and we will add you to our volunteer database.

If you have any questions, please call us at 773-477-7173 or email


Illinois Republican Steps Up!


Rep. Bob Dold (R-IL) today became the first Republican congressman to co-sponsor the Equality Act, federal legislation which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity illegal in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit, and the jury system.


The Human Rights Campaign applauded Dold:

“Bob Dold is showing tremendous leadership today by becoming the first Republican to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Equality Act and we’re thrilled that he’s standing up for our fundamental values of fairness and equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Far too many LGBT people – nearly two thirds – have faced unfair and unjust discrimination in their lives, much of it in the workplace. In co-sponsoring the Equality Act, Congressman Dold showed how important it is that LGBT people be able to have a fair chance to earn a living, provide for their families, and live free from fear of discrimination.”

Last July, the Equality Act was introduced in both the House and Senate with a record number of original co-sponsors. Since then, several major companies, including Apple, the Dow Chemical Company, Hyatt, Levi Strauss & Co., Orbitz, and Target, have all endorsed the Equality Act. In addition, the bipartisan legal team David Boies and Ted Olson — who was a Solicitor General of the United States under former President George W. Bush — also announced their support.

President Obama threw his support behind the legislation last November after what the White House said was “several weeks of review” of the bill.


Wisconsin and Indiana Get Marriage Equality

gay marriage indiana wisconsin

Our nearby states celebrated a win last night, as a judge struck down marriage equality bans in both INDIANA and WISCONSIN!

Only nine days after hearing arguments in the case, a federal appeals court in Chicago declared the bans on same-sex marriage in Indiana and Wisconsin to be unconstitutional on Thursday, adding to the list of marriage cases that could wind up before the Supreme Court in the year ahead.

“The grounds advanced by Indiana and Wisconsin for their discriminatory policies are not only conjectural; they are totally implausible,” said the unanimous opinion by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, as it confirmed lower-court decisions that reversed marriage restrictions in the two states.

In each case so far, the rulings to permit same-sex marriages have been temporarily stayed, pending action by the Supreme Court, and the same appeared likely for Indiana and Wisconsin.


Sad News for Gay Illinois Teens – Conversion Therapy Ban Shot Down

Conversion-therapy gay non gay chicago illinois

Illinois House Shoots Down Ban On Gay Conversion Therapy

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – An effort to ban the controversial practice of “conversion therapy” to turn gay, lesbian and bisexual youth heterosexual has been defeated in the Illinois House.

The proposed legislation, sponsored by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) lost on a 44-51 roll call vote Thursday.

Cassidy, a lesbian who helped spearhead the legalization of same-sex marriage in Illinois, told her colleagues people are born heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual, and so-called “conversion therapy” can only harm the youths it purports to treat.  SEE MORE  AT  CBS


Out of State Couples Coming to Illinois for Same Sex Marriages

gay wedding cakes chicago

SAME  SEX MARRIAGE is Officially Legal in Illinois  and many neighboring states are going to be running here to be married.

Why are they doing this? Even if their state will not recognize a marriage from another state, the Federal Government WILL.

No one is breaking any laws  because same-sex marriage is legal here. The couple just need to know how their state will treat them when they get home, each state is different, but on a federal level, they are married.

Based on number’s of last year same-sex couples doing civil unions, I would say my business has increased 50% from out-of-state same-sex couples. Also, keeping in mind everyone was waiting for Illinois marriage equality, this is year is going to be a huge rise in numbers” said Rev. Pamela who handles a lot of LGBT weddings and services in Arlington Heights at the Charming Pine Manor – or she can come to you.

There are lots of lawsuits all over the country right now involving states that currently do not recognize gay marriage.  As of  3-15-2014:

Wisconsin has been challenged;

Tennessee is being ordered, temporarily, to recognize out-of-state gay marriages;

Kentucky is trying to get out of recognizing gay marriages;

Indiana is being challenged;

Michigan has not decided yet;

Ohio is still being challenged – unless you die!

Judges around the country are striking down same sex marriage bans!


What Does Marriage Equality Mean? and How Will You Celebrate?

FINALLY!  Marriage Equality has come to Illinois!  Now it’s time to celebrate!
Tickets are now on sale for the biggest and most glamorous formal
LGBT event in the Midwest!

Plan now to attend the Equality Illiniois 2014 Gala in the Hilton Chicago

Learn more about the always popular silent auction and the program book
Go to for all the information.
So, how does this thing work? What if we already have a civil union, or
were married elsewhere?  Where do we get a license and what do we need
to bring? Equality Illinois is ready to help you find the answers to
those and many other questions. Here’s how:
an Equality Illinois Marriage Forum. Thirteen are scheduled throughout
the state in December and January. Scroll down to the calendar for the
list of cities and to register, or
CLICK HERE for information & to register

Read the Equality Illinois Marriage Guide. This handy pamphlet answers many of your questions about getting married in Illinois. Click here to see the FAQs.


Illinois Exorcism in Springfield by Bishop Thomas Paprocki

  As promised,
Springfield, Illinois Bishop Thomas Paprocki delivered a “Homily for
Prayers of Supplication and Exorcism in Reparation for the Sin of
Same-Sex Marriage” simultaneously as Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed the marriage equality bill Wednesday. That homily
provides many insights into the anti-gay beliefs still maintained by
the Catholic Church that inform its ongoing campaigns against allowing
legal recognition for same-sex couples’ civil marriages.

Here are some highlights:

The Devil Is Responsible For Promoting Same-Sex Marriage:

Same-Sex Parenting  Harms Children:

The Only Way To Help Gay People Is To Tell Them To Be Chaste:

read all about this nut at  Think Progress

Haters of Marriage Equality prepare their ATTACK in Illinois

  November 20th – Governor Quinn signs the Marriage Equality bill.  BUT While Illinoisans across the state are
rightfully celebrating the marriage victory, our opponents are launching
an attack. They are not only ramping up efforts to marginalize gay
and lesbian couples and their children, but are pledging to go as far as
creating obstacles to full implementation of the law and to unseat
lawmakers who helped pass the marriage bill.

Fasten your seatbelts!

As the New York Times reported just a few days ago,
some anti-marriage extremists are preparing to “run and elect people
who vote with us,” signaling their plans to break our 61-vote
pro-marriage majority in the House and 34-vote majority in the Senate.
ABC News reported a more direct threat: “A vote for same-sex marriage
from any of our legislators … means that you have seen your last days
in office.”

Here’s a sampling of what Equality Illinois is doing to defend our historic marriage victory:

On Thursday,
we announced our statewide education and empowerment campaign, aimed
at increasing support for marriage equality, dispelling myths, and
empowering same-sex couples and their families to understand and use all
their state and federal marriage rights.  We’re coming to you: from
Rockford to Carbondale to Chicago, and every place in between.  We will
announce the where and when of the forums in the days ahead in emails,
Facebook and Twitter.

In the meantime, you can also read and download our Marriage Rights Guide here.

  Just as we had successfully done with
civil unions,  we have already begun working with public and private
actors to help them fully implement the freedom to marry.  And our
corporate best practices manual will help corporations and businesses
smoothly and efficiently roll out equal benefits for employees with
same-sex spouses.

.  With an over 80% success rate in 2012, Equality
Illinois PAC is the most successful and best recognized political
action muscle for the LGBT equality movement in Illinois. We have
already allocated over $70,000 to defend early supporters of marriage
equality, and plan to spend an additional $180,000 by the end of the
2014 general election.

We achieved marriage equality in Illinois because you got
engaged.  And we can only defend the newly-won freedom with your

Please join EQIL in their work by clicking here.


Witness Governor Quinn Sign the Marriage Equality Bill November 20th in Chicago

Be a part of Illinois history!  You can witness a historic moment as the Illinois Marriage Fairness Act is signed!  
 Wednesday, November 20th at 3:30 PM
at the University of Illinois at Chicago Forum as Governor Pat Quinn
signs Senate Bill 10: the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act
into law.

While this event is  free and open to the public, you must
apply for tickets. Apply for tickets to Governor Quinn’s
historic signing by clicking here


Gay Couple Sues Cab Company Over Kiss

Lambda Legal is working with a  gay couple who filed a human rights complaint on Monday against a
Chicago-area taxi company because a driver told them to leave his cab
after they kissed in the back seat.

The couple, Matthew McCrea, 30, of Chicago, and Steven White, 29, of
West Hollywood, California, say they had exchanged a brief kiss in the
back of a Sun Taxi cab when the driver pulled over on a busy expressway
on a rainy night and told them to get out.

Though the driver has been fined by the city over the May incident
and fired by his company, McCrea and White say they took their complaint
to the Illinois Department of Human Rights to help others who might
find themselves in a similar situation. The complaint asks for
unspecified compensation.

“We’re doing this because what happened to us isn’t right, and we want to make sure other people, if they find themselves in this situation, they know it’s not OK,” said McCrea in a phone interview.  More  at  Tribune.


LiveStream of Marriage Equality Rally/Concert in Springfield

HD Live Stream Video Available Of March On Springfield for Marriage Equality
of the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality will provide a live
stream of the concert and rally in Springfield, Illinois, on Tuesday, October 22, 2013.
will be available in high definition. The service is provided by the
same vendor that streams live coverage from the Illinois House and
Senate chambers. Programming will go live at 11:45 am on Tuesday, October 22, 2013. The event is outdoor at the corner of 2nd Street and Capitol, next to the State Capitol Building, in Springfield, Illinois.
We ask that you withhold publishing this information or link until 9 am, Tuesday, October 22, 2013.
  • 11:55 am —————– National Anthem
  • 12:00 to 1 pm ———– Rock the March Concert
  • 1 pm ———————- Welcome by Governor Patrick Quinn and Senator Dick Durbin
  • 1 pm to 2:30 pm ——– Rally with speakers from LGBT, labor, immigration, women’s health, business, sports and faith communities.
  • 2:30 pm —————— March begins, led by drummers and marching band.
  • 2:30 to 3:30 pm ——– March around the Capitol
*All times are estimates.
About the March
The March on Springfield for Marriage Equality will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013,
the scheduled first day of the fall veto session of the Illinois state
legislature. The “March on Springfield” is part of a broad grassroots
strategy to secure final passage of Senate Bill 10, the “Religious
Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” already approved by the Illinois
Senate. Once adopted, Illinois will become the 14th state plus the
District of Columbia, to treat all of its citizens equally under state
marriage laws, and all married people in Illinois will be treated
equally under federal law. For more information, visit, or find the March at or on Twitter @IllinoisMarches. Hashtags being used for the event include #IL4M and #ILCantWait.

Alderman James Cappleman to Get Legally Married in Washington State

Now that DOMA has been struck down and the Federal Government is recognizing LGBT marriage  – why wait for Illinois to decide WTF they are going to do with marriage equality??

Uptown Alderman James Cappelman and his partner Richard have been together for
more than two decades! (Congratulations guys!)   But after waiting anxiously for Illinois to
legalize marriage equality, and in light of the disappointing
stop-and-start progress of an equal marriage bill over the last year,
the couple is heading to Washington state to tie the knot.

Chicago Tribune has the story:

“We are going to go elsewhere,” said Ald. James Cappleman, 46th.
“It’s kind of sad that a Chicago alderman, an elected official, has to
leave his own state. But we’ll keep fighting. There’s a lot of people
who want to get married.”

Cappleman and Richard Thale, who met in church, have been together
for 22 years. The plan to get married Nov. 22, surrounded by relatives
who live out West. The couple already have a civil union in Illinois.

Cappleman said he first spilled the beans Tuesday night on CLTV’s
“Politics Tonight” show when asked what it was like to be an alderman
and gay. He later posted his plans on Facebook.

WHAT IS WRONG WILL ILLINOIS?  Do they realize how much money they are losing by waiting?   I had 2 Chicago friends last week, fly to NYC for their marriage. One is very sickly and they didn’t want to take the risk of losing those federal protections that other married couples already have.


March on Springfield for Marriage Equality October 22nd, 2013

Marriage is an important institution.  It is through marriage that
adults throughout our country and throughout the world express their
commitment and devotion to each other.  In turn, governments use the
institution of marriage to recognize and protect family units. 

However, the definition of marriage has not been static throughout
history.  The definition of marriage has changed considerably from
biblical historical days, when the marital unit might have included more
than 2 adults and when every participant’s consent may not have been
readily apparent.  In past traditions, marriage was sometimes used to
consolidate wealth, produce children, and create kinship between
powerful families.  The legal and social benefits of marriage continued
to evolve to accommodate changing needs of societies.

Marriage continues to serve as an important civil institution in
America today.  Its protections continue on many levels:  financial,
legal, social, and emotional.  Even while the institution of marriage
evolves, it is still the avenue through which our society provides
benefits, rights, protections, and responsibilities to partners.

Marriage bestows a host of benefits -and responsibilities – to
couples who choose to marry.  The following is a short, illustrative
list of some of the more than 1,000 benefits and responsibilities that
married couples enjoy automatically, yet are denied to same-sex couples
that cannot wed.

  • Automatic inheritance, even without a will
  • Responsibility for each partner’s debt
  • Ability to put partner and partner’s children on medical or life insurance
  • Hospital visitation rights
  • Ability to make partner a U.S. citizen and prevent deportation
  • Right to take leave to care for a sick partner
  • Ability to make medical decisions in an emergency
  • Privilege from testifying against partner in court
  • Ability to file joint tax returns and use tax benefits for married couples
  • Exemption from gift and estate transfer taxes
  • Right to joint parenting, adoption, foster care, and visitation of children
  • Right to recognition in all states
  • Right to file wrongful death claims for a partner’s death
  • Right to a divorce, court division of property, and visitation of children in times of breakup


ILLINOIS needs to be the next state to DO THE RIGHT THING!

Rock the March: One Hour Concert Will Launch the October 22 March on Springfield for Marriage Equality

Nationally prominent performers with Illinois roots will kick off the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality on Tuesday, Oct. 22
with a free one-hour concert live near the steps of the Illinois State
Capitol. The diverse entertainment bill includes reality TV stars from
“The Voice,” “American Idol,” and “America’s Got Talent;” a national
poetry slam winner; a world champion & MVP quarterback who is also a
pre-Grammy nominee; and a 2013 Trans 100 honoree fighting violence
against transgender people.

“Love transcends gender, sexual orientation
and faith,” said Tracy Baim, March Co-chair, “and Shakespeare wrote ‘If
music be the food of love, play on!’ We are marching to Springfield to
tell the people’s representatives that ‘love is love,’ and that our
families deserve the same marriage benefits granted to other loving
couples in Illinois. What better way to begin the March than by raising
our voices in song and poetry?”

“Rock the March” will kick off with
performances by members of LGBT Choral groups including: Chicago Gay
Men’s Chorus, Windy City Performing Arts, Artemis Singers and Amasong.
Jammin for Justice EarthBeat Drummers will kick off the March.
Headlining performers will be:

*       Sandra Antongiorgi – World, Latin, neo-soul singer, songwriter & painter

*       C.C. Carter – author, activist, teacher and performance poet
*       De’Borah – singer, song-writer and star of “The Voice”
*       Steve Grand – “All American Boy” singer, song-writer and YouTube sensation
*       Sami Grisafe – all-star MVP quarterback and award-winning singer-songwriter

*       Kokumo – African-American transgender woman, singer, writer & performer
*       Stephen Leonard – Out rock powerhouse singer & song-writer
      Marcus Terell & the Serenades – singer, performer and star
of “American                             Idol”, “America’s Got Talent”
& “Making The Band”

The concert will begin at noon on October 22, 2013,
at the March on Springfield stage in front of the Illinois State
Capitol on 2nd Street. The marriage equality rally will immediately
follow the concert, with a march around the State Capitol starting at 2:30 pm

There is no cost to attend and members of the public are welcome. For more information, visit  BUSES   STILL AVAILABLE!!!

We Are Family March for Equality October 22nd! in Springfield!

Bus Tickets
for the

March on Springfield

for Marriage Equality

are now available!

The October 22nd
March on Springfield, at the start of the veto session of the
legislature, is the pivotal event this fall whereby we can finally get
Illinois to recognize the equal rights of LGBT people by recognizing
same-sex marriages.



Groupon employees to participate in October 22 Marriage Equality March on Springfield

Groupon has long been a strong supporter of marriage equality in
Illinois. Today they released a video, produced by Groupon employees, to
showcase that support.
We’re also excited to announce that Groupon will be
participating in the March on Springfield, busing interested employees
to the rally that day in support of marriage equality on October 22.
About the March
The March on Springfield for Marriage Equality will take place on Oct. 22, 2013,
the scheduled first day of the fall veto session of the Illinois state
legislature. The “March on Springfield” is part of a broad grassroots
strategy to secure final passage of Senate Bill 10, the “Religious
Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” already approved by the Illinois
Senate. Once adopted, Illinois will become the 14th state plus the
District of Columbia, to treat all of its citizens equally under state
marriage laws. For more information, visit


Chicago and Los Angeles are Urged to Dump Their Sister Cities in Russia

 It’s getting hotter…..The Lansing Michigan City Council  appeared ready to adopt a resolution to formally begin the process of ending its sister city relationship with St. Petersburg, Russia due to discrimination against the LGBT community.

But miscommunication between the council and Mayor Virg Bernero’s administration put that move on ice. For now

Meanwhile, Equality Illinois has called on Chicago to end its relationship with Moscow.

From the statement:

“As the state’s oldest and largest
advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
Illinoisans, we believe that it cannot be business as usual in Illinois’
relations with Russia until that country’s oppressive laws are reversed
and gays are not targeted for oppression,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO
of Equality Illinois.

“From many small but meaningful steps, a
national and then an international consensus will grow and ultimately,
we believe, force Russia to change its behavior toward its gay citizens
and visitors,” Cherkasov said.

Los Angeles has been also been wanting to sever ties to St. Petersburg  for
quite some time. Back in February, Los Angeles City Council introduced a
resolution that would have severed the city’s symbolic relationship
with Russia, Frontiers LA reports:

“The passing of this resolution sends a
strong message that the city will not tolerate discrimination against
our LGBT brothers and sisters in a sister city relationship,’ openly gay
City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl said in introducing his resolution on
Feb. 12. ‘We must stand together and continue to fight for our basic
civil and human rights for all human beings on this earth.”

Left unsaid in City Hall that day was the
possibility – albeit perhaps a remote possibility – that the severing
or even suspension of ties to St. Petersburg by the City of Los Angeles
would send a resounding message of support for LGBT human rights from
the ninth most economically powerful city in the world that other cities
could use as cover to also sever ties.

MEANWHILE  at a recent meeting in St. Petersburg, co-author of Russia’s bill banning
homosexuality Vitaly Valentinovich Milonov urged President Putin to not suspend the law
during the Sochi Olympics,
claiming that doing so would be “selective
enforcement.” This runs directly counter to the International Olympic
Committee’s assertions that athletes and spectators would be exempt from
the gay ban law.


March for Marriage Equality July 13th

March on Chicago

for Marriage Equality

1 PM, Saturday, July 13
Corner of Michigan Avenue and Congress Parkway

is inevitable in the fight for civil rights. While some on our side
were assuring us marriage equality would pass by the end of May, the
other side was mobilizing and rallying to scare representatives out of
doing the right thing.

We need to show everyone that love is louder than hate. We need to show
that the voices for equality outnumber the voices for fear and
small-mindedness. We need to hit the streets!

We can still get it done this year if we all join in. This is not over!
Let’s show our representatives that we’re not giving up on marriage
equality without a fight!


Illinois Equal Marriage Advocates Plan March on Springfield Oct 22

A day after more
than one million gathered to celebrate Pride in Chicago at a parade
dominated by calls for equal marriage, marriage advocates in Illinois
have announced further details for the March on Springfield for Marriage
Equality on Oct. 22.

The march will be organized by a group of co-chairs drawn from a
diverse cross-section of Illinois’ lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender
and queer communities. Among the 13 statewide co-chairs announced today
are 6 women and 7 men with diverse ethnic, racial, religious, and
professional backgrounds. The March on Springfield, set for the first
scheduled day of the legislature’s fall veto session, will operate
separately and alongside efforts by Illinois Unites, the broad coalition
of more than 50 organizations working to pass equal marriage in
Illinois, as well as with grassroots activist groups.

“Marriage equality is supported by a majority of Illinoisans and has
new urgency given actions by the U.S. Supreme Court last week,” the new
group of co-chairs said in a joint statement. “When the Supreme Court
struck down DOMA, married couples in 13 states and the District of
Columbia gained benefits that are denied to people in Illinois. On Oct. 22,
we call on Illinoisans from every walk of life and from every district
to come to Springfield and demand full equality for everyone in our

The group also announced early details on how corporations, small
businesses, and volunteers can get involved in the effort to get people
to Springfield. These include crowd sourced funding through an IndieGogo
campaign to be launched next week, specially priced bus rentals, and a
business partnership campaign to facilitate broad-based participation by
companies and their employees in the March. To learn how your
organization or company can get involved, visit the Facebook page, email or call (773) 387-2394.

March on Springfield co-chairs include:

  • Solomon Arnold: College student, media personality, and HIV/AIDS educator in the African American house ball community.
  • Tracy Baim:
    Journalist, filmmaker, author, Co-vice chair of the Chicago Gay Games
    and publisher is publisher of Windy City Times newspaper.
  • Kevin Boyer:
    Marketing professional, community organizer, former Co-vice chair of
    the Chicago Gay Games, and co-chair of GLAAD Chicago’s Leadership
  • Buff Carmichael: Longtime media professional, former publisher of the Prairie Flame, and activist in Springfield.
  • Brandy Donaldson: Rock Island-based media professional and activist within the African American lesbian community.
  • Emmanuel Garcia:
    Latino youth activist working with Association of Latin Men for Action,
    Crossroads Fund, Chicago’s largest queer youth prom and Cicero’s LGBT
  • Brent Holman-Gomez: Activist working within the welcoming church movement, immigration equality, and international LGBTQI organizations.
  • Kim Hunt: Executive Director of Affinity, an African American LBT women’s group, who was also an organizer of the Chicago Gay Games.
  • Naomi Lahiri:
    Queer feminist with expertise in Asian issues, outreach for trans*
    people of Asian descent, immigrant issues, and domestic violence
  • Alexis Martinez:
    Transgender activist working on cross-generation work, the Dyke March
    plus Latino, living wage, education and healthcare issues.
  • Chris Mullins: Activist and LGBT rights advocate and Chair of Lambda Legal’s Chicago Leadership Council
  • Edith Nieves: Long-time activist on union, lesbian, sports and Latina issues; runs Sisters 4LGBTQ Community, a lesbian social network.
  • Max Smith:
    Activist for four decades especially focused on African American men
    and religious issues, and as a member of Adodi, an African-American
    men’s organization.

About the March
The March on Springfield for Marriage Equality will take place on Oct. 22, 2013,
the scheduled first day of the fall veto session of the Illinois state
legislature. The “March on Springfield” is part of a broad grassroots
strategy to secure final passage of Senate Bill 10, the “Religious
Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” already approved by the Illinois
Senate. Once adopted, Illinois will become the 14th state plus the
District of Columbia, to treat all of its citizens equally under state
marriage laws. More details are available on Facebook at and on Twitter at @IllinoisMarches.


NOH8 portrait of Congresswoman Robin Kelly, IL02

NOH8 is every where! 

As the nation prepares for the imminent U.S.
Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage
Act and California’s Proposition 8, the NOH8 Campaign on Monday
released portrait photos of 67 new members of Congress
standing in support of marriage equality. 
This year’s NOH8 On The Hill
Campaign featured a record-setting number of Congressional participants,
Congresswoman Robin Kelly, of Illinois’ 2nd District.  The class of 2013 brings the total of Congressional participants in the NOH8 portrait campaign over three years to 100 members.

Congresswoman Kelly said: “Love can
never be silenced. We’re created equally and therefore have the right
to love equally and I am proud to stand up for that right.”

The iconic NOH8 portraits, created by NOH8 Campaign
co-founders Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley, feature individuals posing
with duct tape over their mouths to symbolize the voices of equality
being silenced by laws like the discriminatory
Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. In addition,
the NOH8 face tattoo worn by participants symbolizes solidarity with
others who are also standing up for equality. 


Boystown Business Owner says SHAME SHAME to Illinois Lawmakers

The owner of Elixer, Halsted’s Bar and Grill, Hydrate Nightclub and
Replay says “Shame, Shame!” to politicians who let gay marriage in
Illinois fall through the cracks.
“I was extremely disappointed and, like many of us, I had high
expectations that I felt were warranted given that we have a
Democratically controlled House and the majority of citizens in this
state are in favor of legalizing gay marriage,” said Mark Liberson, who
owns Elixer, Halsted’s Bar and Grill, Hydrate Nightclub and Replay
Some in the community feel the politicians should  NOT even be allowed to be in the Parade this year!  What do you think?

Gay Marriage Battle is About to Heat up in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.— Despite urging from President Barack Obama in his
home state and fierce on-the-ground campaigning, a legislative measure
that would have made Illinois the 13th state to allow same-sex couples
to marry didn’t rally enough support from lawmakers in the House.

bill’s sponsor, Democratic Rep. Greg Harris, gave an emotional
testimony before lawmakers, explaining that he simply didn’t have the 60
votes the measure needed to pass and wouldn’t be calling it for a vote.
For weeks, he’d been furiously lobbying his colleagues, including
members of the House Black Caucus.

(I know that artwork depicts California – but I thought it was fitting)

“Several of my colleagues have indicated they would not be willing to
cast a vote on this legislation today … and I’ve never been sadder to
accept such request,” he said. “They asked me for time to go back to
their districts and reach out to their minds and hearts.”

After a string of marriage equality victories across the
country, the legislature in Illinois has failed to deliver. With earlier
passage of the bill in the Senate, active support from the Governor, and
enthusiasm and energy from supporters in the House — same-sex couples in
Illinois were ready to celebrate their love and equality. 

But today, the House let us down.

On May 30, 2012, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois each
filed lawsuits
on behalf of same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry.
Lambda Legal represents 16 same-sex couples and their children from across the
state. The couples have been together between 6 and 48 years, and 10 of the
couples are raising children. Barring same-sex couples and their children from
marriage is a violation of the Illinois Constitution’s guarantee of equal
protection and due process.

Denouncing what they
are calling the “Epic Fail / Epic Betrayal” of Illinois Democrats
failure to pass SB 10, the state’s equal marriage rights bill last night, gay
activists and their allies are calling an emergency response protest for 8 PM,
Saturday, June 1 beginning at the corner of Halsted and Roscoe Streets in

With a recent
showing Illinoisans favoring the equal marriage rights bill by a
nearly two-to-one margin, and Democrats holding a huge majority in the Illinois
General Assembly, the usual excuses of pro-LGBT legislation being held up by
Republican conservatives didn’t hold water.
What should
have been a cakewalk instead became an epic fail.  Activists are denouncing what they say was a
consistent failure by the bill’s sponsors to reach out to other minority
communities and involve the LGBT community itself in messaging, and instead ran
a top-down corporate campaign such as has been responsible for previous epic
failures, such as California’s Proposition 8.
Speaker Mike Madigan, the de facto
leader of the Illinois Democratic Party, is responsible for this abject
betrayal,” said Andy Thayer, long-time equal marriage rights activist and
co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network. 
“Anyone who knows anything about Illinois politics knows that
Speaker Mike Madigan owns the House – if he had insisted on a positive vote
from his caucus, it would have passed. 
Madigan has repeatedly shoveled millions of tax dollars to his wealthy cronies,
leaving the state’s finances in a total mess, but when it comes to passing
civil rights legislation, he refused to spend any political capital.”

protest is sponsored by the Gay Liberation Network and the Civil Rights
Agenda.  For more information, contact
the Gay Liberation Network at 773.209.1187 or email 


Illinois GOP Chair Pat Brady FORCED TO RESIGN Over Gay Marriage Debate


Illinois Republicans have just forced state party chair Pat Brady to resign because of his support for gay marriage.

Brady, rather famously, came out in support of gay marriage in
January of this year, and even made phone calls to lawmakers urging them
to support gay marriage legislation before the Illinois legislature.

And now he’s politically-dead, killed by a Republican party so
permeated with hate and intolerance that even in a moderate-Republican
state like Illinois, the GOP just couldn’t stomach having a gay friendly  man as
party chair.

In 2013, when 11 American states have already legalized gay
marriage, Illinois Republicans are so hateful and bigoted that they
would destroy a man for daring to speak out in favor of civil rights.

If the state of Illinois DOES NOT PASS Marriage Equality, it will be a sad day, for our State. 


Are all Republicans Against Gay Marriage?

Illinois  lawmakers return to Springfield this week from a two-week break. That means Marriage Equality will be back on the table.

NOM IS READY TO FIGHT US! They are THREATENING  Republican officials!

Meanwhile, NOM is rattling its sabre again, reiterating its pledge to spend $250K to defeat GOP legislators who support same-sex marriage:

“Any Republican in Illinois who betrays
the cause of marriage will be casting a career-ending vote and will be
held accountable to their constituents,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s
president. “We will spend whatever it takes—hundreds of thousands of
dollars if necessary—to remove them from office, just as we did three of
the four turncoat Republican state Senators in New York who were
responsible for gay ‘marriage’ passing there. We will not hesitate to
support pro-family Democrats to replace them, as our record in New York


Marriage Equality March in Chicago and 50 States

Next week,  the Supreme Court will hold historic hearings on
DOMA and Proposition 8.
These cases – which
challenge the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
and California’s Proposition 8 – are fundamentally about whether LGBT
Americans can enjoy the same freedoms and opportunities as everyone

March 25,  26 and 27, there will be rallies happening around the US.
CHICAGO’s will take place March  25th  5:30-7:30pm
@  Federal Plaza   50 W. Adams St., Chicago, Illinois 60604

presence and that of your friends and others will make a difference in
the continuing national struggle for equality for all. Join us as we
rally next to the Federal Court in Chicago’s Federal Plaza, corner of
Adams and Dearborn Streets, at 5:30 p.m. on March 25, 2013. 

The Rally
will be followed a candlelight march from Federal Plaza to Pioneer Plaza
(By the Tribune Tower). Please remember to bring a candle. Please
spread the word and add your friends to this invite. Tell the SCOTUS we
demand Marriage EquALLity Now!

Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA) and Gay Liberation Network (GLN) are
supporting organizations. Check  FACEBOOK  for additional details and

Illinois Governor Reduces State HIV Funding = Cuts to ADAP

More cuts coming to ADAP.

Governor Pat Quinn released a proposed $35.6 million state budget on
March 6 that would reduce state HIV/AIDS funding by $4.27 million, or 16

to President Obama, many people with HIV will gain new health insurance
coverage through the Affordable Care Act, providing partial relief to
the state’s AIDS Drug
Assistance Program (ADAP),” said David Ernesto Munar, President/CEO of
the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. “
Illinois has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reinvest ADAP savings to fund HIV prevention
and service programs that will reduce new HIV cases and improve health outcomes.”

the Governor’s proposed budget, total state HIV spending would drop
from $26.23 million in FY13 to $21.75 million in FY14. AFC has learned
from sources at IDPH that the
funding cut would come from ADAP, which provides life-saving
medications to people with the disease.

2014, many current ADAP clients will transition to Medicaid or
subsidized private insurance programs available through new online
insurance marketplaces, also called exchanges. 
This shift will reduce the need for state spending on ADAP.  “Allegedly”. 

is a communicable disease,” continued Munar. “The scientific evidence
is clear that when people with HIV receive clinical care, treatment, and
other essential services, the risk for
further HIV transmission is substantially decreased.” 

“About half of people with HIV are
not receiving medications or medical care,” said
Ramon Gardenhire, AFC’s director of government relations.
“Illinois should reinvest the savings from the ACA to connect people
with HIV to medical care: culturally sensitive boots-on-the-ground
outreach workers, substance abuse
and mental health treatment resources, and stable housing and
transportation options. Illinois should reinvest in these services since
the unmet need is so great.  Doing so will reduce new HIV cases and
future medical spending.”

enacted, HIV funding would be cut for the third year in a row. Since
2011, Illinois has reduced state HIV funding by $9 million, or 30

funding cuts have resulted in dramatic decreases in the availability of
HIV prevention, housing and supportive services across the state,” said
Gardenhire.  “It’s time for Illinois
to stop this trend and fund targeted investments that will help lower the burden and cost of HIV upon the state.”

ensure that people with HIV continue to receive services, the General
Assembly must immediately act to extend Medicaid coverage to all
low-income people, including people with HIV.

Sponsored by State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago),
Senate Bill 26,
pending in the Illinois House, would
authorize Illinois to take advantage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
to provide Medicaid to about 342,000 low-income Illinois citizens who
are currently uninsured, including thousands who are living
with HIV/AIDS. Thanks to health reform, Illinois will be able to offer
Medicaid to this population at no expense to the state for the first
three years, and in later years the state will never pay more than 10
percent of the coverage cost.

26, if approved by the Illinois House, would shift costs for HIV
medication from the state to the federal government, yielding savings to
Illinois that could be used to strengthen HIV
care and prevention efforts.

together with HIV/AIDS medical and community-based services
organizations, calls on the Illinois General Assembly to reverse the
proposed funding cuts and pass SB 26 to gain federal
funding to provide HIV care through Medicaid.

urges advocates to join us in Springfield to lobby for important
HIV/AIDS issues in April and May of this year. Contact Lucy Baglin at
for more information on Medicaid advocacy. 


Illinois Republican Chairman Pat Brady is in Hot Water for Vocally Supporting Marriage Equality

THIS TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2013, is the last and final big vote for Marriage Equality in Illinois. It has successfully passed the Senate, and Tuesday the House will vote. 

 The majority of Illinoisans are hoping that their state legislature
will move to legalize same-sex marriage this year — and are more
passionate in that belief than opponents of such legislation.

In a Crain’s/Ipsos poll of 600 Illinois adults, 50 percent of respondents supported the marriage equality bill that the state Senate approved last week.
On the other side of the issue, only 29 percent of respondents opposed
the bill, while 20 percent said they were unsure or had mixed feelings
about the issue.

HOWEVER, Republicans in positions of power ARE NOT ALLOWED to be pro-Marriage Equality!  HOW CRAZY IS THAT??

Just last month, Illinois Republican Chairman Pat Brady started calling on lawmakers to support marriage equality.
At the time, Brady said: “Giving gay and lesbian couples the freedom to
get married honors the best conservative principles. It strengthens
families and reinforces a key Republican value – that the law should
treat all citizens equally.”

Now the shit has hit the fan!
Many Republicans are calling for his resignation. Even NOM demanded Brady step down from his post.

Brady received a phone call in which he was told GOP leaders plan to meet next month to discuss his possible removal. The phone call Friday afternoon
informed him that party bosses are calling a special meeting at which
they’ll discuss why Brady publicly bucked the party line on same-sex
marriage, as well as other issues such as fundraising, Brady said.

Brady  spoke to Crain’s Chicago Busine about the news:

 When Brady was asked if he’s willing to
change his mind on the issue, he said “Absolutely not. The more and more I talk to people, the more I’m
convinced. (Allowing same-sex marriage) is the right thing to do.”

The GOP meeting is scheduled to take place March 9. Brady said the March 9 special meeting will only reinforce a negative
image of the GOP as a party of “old white guys,” though he said he’ll respect the process.

URGENT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On Monday, February 25th, Republicans are being urged to call the Capital Switch Board  217-782-2000  and they are supposed to urge them to vote against the homosexual “marriage” bill!  

We  must call in SUPPORT OF THE BILL!

Republicans are also urged to call 217-525-0011  and voice that Brady needs to resign.

WE MUST CALL and PRAISE  BRADY for his stand on Marriage Equality.



Marriage Equality is Coming to Illinois!


               OF YOUR TIME!!!
The sponsors of the marriage equality bill in the Illinois General
Assembly are ready to move the legislation to a vote. Equality Illinois
is dedicating their efforts to leaving no stone unturned to achieving that

With your help, Equality Illinois has been working hard across the state to strengthen public support for marriage equality.
However, as you may have heard from reports today, our opposition is
gearing up as well, attempting to flood the lawmakers with their
negative messages.

We need to keep the momentum going and make sure the legislators hear from you! Can you take a moment and send an email to your legislator TODAY?
Please be sure to include why marriage equality matters to YOU and make
it personal. AND, don’t forget to share this on Facebook, Twitter and
with your friends and family!

We can’t pass this bill without your help.
That is why in
the weeks leading up to lame duck session we will be keeping you
regularly updated and asking you to take regular action. 

The time is now to act and make marriage a reality!

Just fill out your zip code! And you can automatically send out a message to your legislators! It’s so fast. PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD!


RAHM Pushes for Marriage Equality in Illinois

 “The time is right” for marriage equality,  says Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.
He has thrown his considerable political weight behind getting a same-sex marriage bill passed in Illinois. 
The mayor had a letter to that effect published in Tuesday’s Chicago Sun-Times, and he followed that up with a conversation with The Advocate, noting in both that the results of last week’s election make this an opportune time to continue the push for equality.