SPRINGFIELD—Seeking fairness and equality for everyone in Illinois will be front and center at the Illinois State Fair opening today as the first-ever LGBT-focused booth, staffed jointly by Equality Illinois and Lambda Legal, joins the festivities.
"Our cause reaches every corner of Illinois, so there is no better place to meet hundreds of thousands of citizens from all over the state and every walk of life than the State Fair," said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois. "We are excited to participate in one of the grand traditions of the state."
Equality Illinois is the state's oldest and largest organization advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and their families. Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of LGBT people and those with HIV. The organizations are pursuing a two-pronged strategy to achieve marriage equality in Illinois through legislative action and by seeking a state court ruling that would overturn the Illinois ban against same-sex marriages.
The fair runs Aug. 9-19 in Springfield. The Equality Illinois/Lambda Legal booth on the fairgrounds is near the Heartland Area by the west side of the Skyglider, close to Gate 2 at Peoria Road and Sangamon Avenue.
Our participation is made possible by scores of local volunteers from Springfield and towns surrounding the state capital.
"We expect to increase the visibility of the issues important to us, including marriage equality, and offer useful services to our supporters," Cherkasov said. "For 11 days we will be sharing stories of same-sex couples, their children, LGBT students, veterans, teachers, employees, and more with attendees from all across the state."
Visitors to our booth will be offered "I Do" postcards to sign in support of marriage equality that will be sent to their state legislators. Services available include voter registration and information about getting legal assistance, the state's civil union law, LGBT-supportive clergy and congregations and anti-bullying efforts.