CHICAGO—The Equality Illinois PAC endorses Ram Villivalam for state senator of Illinois' 8th Senate district and urges voters to support him in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, March 20.
The Equality Illinois PAC is the statewide political action committee dedicated to advancing justice and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ( LGBTQ ) Illinoisans through engagement in the electoral process.
"Ram Villivalam will be a champion for all residents of the 8th district, including LGBTQ residents," said John Litchfield, chair of the Equality Illinois PAC. "Villivalam's record of pro-equality leadership speaks for itself. As Outreach Coordinator for U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, he worked with legislative staff to introduce legislation that would protect and expand the rights of LGBTQ people. As Legislative Coordinator at SEIU Healthcare, Villivalam supported LGBTQ-affirming legislation on behalf of the union. We know he will be a champion for the LGBTQ residents of the 8th district."
"We also recognize the unusual nature of this primary, in which Villivalam is challenging incumbent State Sen. Ira Silverstein. However, as major pro-equality legislation has advanced through the legislative process since 2010, Sen. Silverstein has not been a leader for LGBTQ people," said Litchfield. "Sen. Silverstein was the only state senator to vote present on civil unions legislation in 2010. He did not vote at all when the marriage equality bill came for Senate votes twice in 2013. Silverstein did not vote to protect LGBTQ youth from harmful, discredited conversion therapy in 2015. And he did not vote to modernize the state's birth certificate law consistent with modern standards of medical care and to ban the anti-LGBTQ panic defense in 2017.
"At this time of heightened fear and anxiety about our civil rights, LGBTQ Illinoisans need their elected officials to be fighters. We know Villivalam will be that leader to help advance justice and equality for LGBTQ people, and we are proud to endorse him."