Equality Illinois
Equality Illinois logo
U.S. State of Illinois
Key people
Brian C. Johnson, chief executive officer

Equality Illinois (EI) was founded in 1991 to work towards building a better Illinois by advancing equal treatment and social justice through education, advocacy, and protection of the rights of the LGBT community.


The Equality Illinois Institute focuses on the educational and charitable aspects of the mission. EI's initiatives extend throughout every sector of Illinois life, reaching individuals and organizations both in the LGBTQ community and society at large, across the private, public and non-profit sectors.

The Equality Illinois Political Action Committee (PAC) promotes candidates for public office who will advocate for and support legislation that advances full equality for LGBTQ individuals and families.

The organization is a member of the Equality Federation.[1]

EQIL's Work

Equality Illinois Publications and Reports

Equality Illinois "Know Your Rights" Pamphlets

History and Past Achievements

Equality Illinois is the Midwest's largest and most influential LGBTQ civil rights organizations.[6] Among its accomplishments are:

Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act

Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act

Youth Mental Health Protection Act

Safe Schools Act

Human Rights Act

Vote Naked Illinois

Fair Illinois

Other Accomplishments


Illinois Unites for Marriage Coalition

In 2012-2013, Equality Illinois played a significant role advocating for same-sex marriage in Illinois. The organization partnered with Lambda Legal and ACLU of Illinois to create the Illinois Unites for Marriage coalition to push for the bill. The same-sex marriage bill passed the legislature in 2013 and was signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn on Nov. 20, 2013.

Annual Gala

The Equality Illinois Gala, annually the largest LGBTQ event of its kind in the Midwest, is held every winter to celebrate the previous year's achievements for the Illinois LGBTQ community. This year’s event will celebrate Equality Illinois’ 25th Anniversary Jubilee Year and is expected to draw more than 1,400 guests, including nearly 100 public officials and many community VIPs.[34]

Freedom Award

The Equality Illinois Freedom Award is given annually at the Equality Illinois gala to celebrate exemplary allies of the Illinois LGBTQ community. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will accept the recognition at the Equality Illinois 25th Anniversary Gala on February 6, 2016. Past Freedom Award winners include Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, state Rep. Greg Harris, the late state Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch, the late state Rep. Mark Beaubien Jr., state Sen. Heather Steans, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, the Chicago Urban League, entertainer Lea DeLaria, the TransLife Center of Chicago House and filmmaker Lana Wachowski.[34][35]


In 2005 Equality Illinois was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.[36]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Equality Illinois - Mission and Accomplishments". Equality Illinois. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Gay activists to lobby for state gay marriage law". WGN. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Equality Illinois holds public forums to discuss new marriage laws". dot429. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  4. ^ Duncan, Dustin (13 December 2013). "Same-sex marriage law discussed in Carbondale". The Southern Illinoisan.
  5. ^ "Equality Illinois Rolls Out 'Fight Back for Marriage' Campaign". Progress Illinois. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Equality Illinois". Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Equality Illinois sets date for Civil Unions Lobby Day". chicagonow.com. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  8. ^ "Conversion Therapy Ban « Equality Illinois". Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  9. ^ "Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for HB0217". www.ilga.gov. Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  10. ^ "Illinois Bans Gay Conversion Therapy for Minors". Time. Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  11. ^ "Mental Health Experts Support Therapy Ban « Equality Illinois". Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  12. ^ "Gov. Pat Quinn Signs Safe Schools Act". You Tube. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Catherine Sikora". Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  14. ^ "Illinois Votes Naked". Huff Post Chicago. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  15. ^ "Equality Illinois Lobby Day". The Vital Voice. Archived from the original on 6 May 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  16. ^ "Illinois - Gay marriage referendum off the ballot!". Daily Kos. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  17. ^ "Thirty-seven Illinois Law Firms Top Equality Illinois Corporate Responsibility Survey" (PDF). Equality Illinois. Retrieved 16 October 2012.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Group Honors Law Firms That Promote Equality" (PDF). Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. July 30, 2010.
  19. ^ "Report: Many Difficulties For Couples In Civil Unions One Year Later". CBS Chicago. June 1, 2012.
  20. ^ Hinz, Greg (Jan 31, 2012). "Trib vet snags gay gig". Crain's Chicago Business.
  21. ^ "Equality Illinois PAC". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  22. ^ "Equality Illinois". Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  23. ^ "Gay marriage supporters rejoice in Chicago". The Chicago Tribune. November 5, 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  24. ^ "Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame". Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  25. ^ "LGBT/Queer Studies and Services Institute". Illinois State University. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  26. ^ "Equality Illinois PAC Endorses Gov. Pat Quinn". Chicago Now. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  27. ^ "Illinois Unites for Marriage Coalition". Illinois Unites for Marriage Coalition. Archived from the original on 19 November 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  28. ^ "Momentum for Same-Sex Marriage Brings Together New Illinois Coalition". American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  29. ^ "Illinois Unites for Marriage Coalition". Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  30. ^ "Marriage Equality Coalition to Kick Off Statewide Campaign Next Week". Progress Illinois. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  31. ^ "Join the Illinois Unites for Marriage Coalition for a Phone Bank". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  32. ^ "Illinois Unites issues plan for marriage equality". Chicago Pride. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  33. ^ "Same-sex marriage group says 3,000 expected at Wednesday at UIC Forum bill signing". Chicago Sun Times. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  34. ^ a b "Nancy Pelosi « Equality Illinois". Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  35. ^ "EQIL Honors Lea DeLaria with Freedom Award « Equality Illinois". Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  36. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-10-17. Retrieved 2015-11-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  37. ^ http://www.equalityillinois.us/our-work-2/accomplishments-mission/
  38. ^ "New Look « Equality Illinois". Retrieved 2019-05-31.

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