CHICAGO - The Equality Illinois PAC is proud to endorse State Sen. Kwame Raoul to be the next Attorney General of Illinois in the General Election on November 6, 2018, the statewide LGBTQ political committee announced Wednesday.
"As anti-equality forces in Springfield and the Trump Administration are working to turn back the clock on hard-won gains for LGBTQ people, the Illinois Attorney General must continue to be a champion and defender of our civil rights. Sen. Raoul has demonstrated his commitment to advancing justice for LGBTQ people and our families, and the Equality Illinois PAC is proud to endorse him to be our next Illinois Attorney General," said John Litchfield, Chair of the Equality Illinois PAC. "In Illinois, our values are fairness, justice, and the freedom to be who you are and love who you love without burden or discrimination. We know Sen. Raoul shares those values and will fight for our communities every day."
"Erika Harold, on the other hand, has an 18-year record of opposing LGBTQ equality, from adoptions by loving same-sex couples to workplace non-discrimination protections to marriage equality," Litchfield said.
Throughout his tenure as a legislator, Sen. Raoul has supported the significant legislation that affirms the lives of and advances justice for LGBTQ people. In 2005, in one of his first votes as a state legislator, he co-sponsored and voted for the historic law that ensures LGBTQ people in Illinois are protected from discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public spaces like restaurants and bars. He voted for the marriage equality law that affirms LGBTQ families, stronger anti-bullying protections for LGBTQ students in schools, the law that protects LGBTQ youth from harmful and discredited conversion therapy, and modernizing the state's birth certificate law for transgender Illinoisans. Just this year, Sen. Raoul supported legislation to ensure that LGBTQ contributions would be included in U.S. history curriculum taught in public schools.
The differences between Sen. Raoul and Republican candidate Erika Harold couldn't be clearer.
In 2000, in response to a question during the Miss America competition, Harold allegedly told pageant officials she would rather place a foster child in the home of an abusive heterosexual couple than a loving same-sex couple.
"As the mother of twins, I am shocked and disgusted by Harold's alleged comments that she would rather place a child in the arms of an abusive straight couple than with a loving same-sex couple, like my wife and me," said Nicole Bashor, Vice-Chair of the Equality Illinois PAC. "She does not represent our values."
While running for Congress in 2014, Harold advocated for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would have prohibited the freedom to marry for loving same-sex couples.
"Just four years ago, Harold advocated for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to deny same-sex couples like my husband and me the freedom to marry," said Litchfield. "Even more troubling is that she expressed that position only four months after Gov. Quinn signed the Illinois marriage equality bill in November 2013. Thus, Harold was comfortable turning back the clock on rights already won and secured here in Illinois."
She also opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which was federal legislation that would have prohibited discrimination against LGBTQ individuals in the workplace. In 2014, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act passed the U.S. Senate with bipartisan support. Illinois' former U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Republican, was a co-sponsor of that legislation.
"Elections are about choices, and the stark differences in the choices for Illinois Attorney General are clear. Erika Harold is simply wrong for Illinois," said Litchfield. "We urge all Illinoisans to vote for Senator Raoul on November 6."
From a press release
The Equality Illinois PAC is the only statewide political entity dedicated to defending and securing the rights of LGBTQ Illinoisans though engagement in the electoral process. The Equality Illinois PAC is a distinct entity, with separate boards of directors, from the Equality Illinois Institute and Equality Illinois. Endorsements are based on a candidate's record and responses submitted on the Equality Illinois PAC's candidate survey.