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Equality Illinois gala Feb. 11

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The annual Equality Illinois Justice for All gala is Sat., Feb. 11, with the theme Celebrating Every Family. It is at the Chicago Hilton, 720 S. Michigan Ave.

Ei said that about 80 office holders and candidates are expected, including Gov. Patrick Quinn, U.S. Rep. Michael Quigley, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Secretary of State Jesse White, State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is a strong supporter who attended last year's gala, and they are awaiting word on whether he will be able to join EI this year.

The annual EI Freedom Award will be given posthumously to former state Rep. Mark Beaubien Jr. (R-Barrington Hills) for his work to end discrimination and advance equality during his nearly 15-year tenure in the Illinois House of Representatives. The 2012 Business Leadership Award will be presented to McDermott Will & Emery, one of the country's leading law firms working to end discrimination and fighting for LGBT equality in courtrooms worldwide.

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