Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-05-25
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Equality Illinois gala celebrates 2013, looks to future
Video links below
2014-02-09

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

      More Photos


Equality Illinois celebrated the LGBT community's victories of the past year at its 2014 gala, held at the Chicago Hilton Feb. 8.

But while organizers, honorees and celebrants—about 1,400 people were in attendance—spent much of the evening looking back on winning gay marriage for Illinois, they also outlined issues that will require work from activists and philanthropists in the year ahead.

[See video links below. Additional photo spread by Hal Baim at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/photospreadthumbs.php .

Additional photo spread by Kat Fitzgerald at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/photospreadthumbs.php .]

Among those goals were defending the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act from efforts to both repeal and weaken it, focusing more on securing stable and reliable funding to treat HIV/AIDS as well as a federal ENDA bill that protects transgender citizens, said state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz.

"Clearly our vision to educate has to continue," she added, asking attendees to remember that many state legislators put their re-elections at risk by voting for gay marriage.

Equality Illinois co-founder Art Johnston reflected on how the predominant goals of the gay-rights movement had shifted over the years. One of the first protests he attended with his partner, Jose Pena, was an appearance by anti-gay activist Anita Bryant at the Medinah Temple in 1977.

The gay community in the 1970s "was demanding not to be treated as a bunch of child molesters," Johnston said, adding that the focus then shifted in the 1980s and 1990s as the AIDS epidemic ravaged the community. Finally, in the early 2000s, marriage became a priority.

"That ignited our enemies even more," Johnston said. "Many of our enemies were casting stones in every direction, using religion to cloak their victory but we did it."

Johnston was joined on stage by Col. Jennifer Pritzker, the gala's chairperson, and called for a toast "to equal marriage and full equality" that would be "so loud that Anita Bryant would hear it in her orange grove in Florida." Also appearing onstage with Johnston were activists/philanthropists Dr. Nan Schaffer and Karen Dixon.

"Look what happens when we play well together in the sandbox," said Dixon of the marriage victory. Schaffer and Dixon issued a $50,000 matching challenge to attendees donating additional money that night.

At the event, the work of the Illinois Unites for Marriage campaign, and its coalition partners, was acknowledged, along with the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality, as part of the widespread effort needed to pass SB10 in Illinois.

Filmmaker Lana Wachowski was winner of an Equality Illinois' Freedom Award. After a glowing introduction from board member Joan Ducayet, Wachowski joked that Ducayet had forgot to mention her lesbian-themed thriller Bound.

Wachowski and her brother Andy, who is her filmmaking partner, have been notoriously reclusive, but Lana has recently been open about being transgender. She said that her hairdresser, responsible for her trademark red dreadlocks, told her that she needed to "come out for real" that evening, and tell the audience that she was "just as 'natural' as anybody else." She added, "Fear is not something I let rule my life, but gratitude is."

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk was given Equality Illinois' Freedom Award. Shortly before the gala began he spoke with reporters about his support for marriage equality.

Kirk said that, during his time convalescing following his 2012 stroke, he spent a great deal of time reflecting on "the future of the country," adding that, "its essence is that which most unlocks people's potential."

Kirk, who is only one of a few Republicans in Congress to be supportive of LGBT rights, said of his stroke, "It made me a much more sympathetic person."

Chicago Urban League President and CEO Andrea Zopp also accepted a Freedom Award on behalf of her organization. State Farm Insurance was presented with the Business Leadership Award.

Gov. Pat Quinn took to the stage to thank SB10's chief sponsors—state Rep. Greg Harris and Sen. Heather Steans. He said that the day SB10 passed the House was "a special day for the nation and a special day for our state," and thanked Harris and Steans, who joined him onstage, for "leading the charge" on the bill.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke just after the procession of politicians. "If you want to be a city and a state that looks forward, you can't have laws on the books that are backward looking," he said.

Feigenholtz paid tribute to state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, who cast one of the deciding votes on SB10 after she left the bedside of her son, who was in hospice.

"She didn't just hope and pray that they'd have enough votes to pass the bill," Feigenholtz said, thanking Jakobsson for her "selflessness and profound commitment to families." Jakobsson was not at the gala.

Among other elected officials and candidates also in attendance were: U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley; U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider; Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka; Lieutenant Governor candidate Paul Vallas; Secretary of State Jesse White; current-state Senator and State Treasurer candidate Mike Frerichs; current-Lieutenant Governor and State Comptroller candidate Sheila Simon; current-state Representative and State Treasurer candidate Tom Cross; and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Also there were state officeholders: Rep. Kelly Cassidy; Rep. Ann Williams; Rep. Ed. Sullivan, Jr.; Rep. Stephanie Kifowit; Rep. Lou Lang; Rep. Scott Drury; Rep. Christian Mitchell; Rep. Rob Martwick; Rep. Mike Smiddy; Illinois Senate President John Cullerton; Sen. Don Harmon; Sen. Dave Koehler; and state representative candidate Melanie "Mel" Ferrand.

And more: Chicago Ald. Tom Tunney, Ald. Harry Oosterman, Ald. James Cappleman, Ald. Joe Moore and Ald. Deb Mell; Springfield Ald. Cory Jobe; Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Commissioner candidate Josina Morita; MWRD Commissioner Debra Shore; MWRD Commissioner Patrick Daley Thompson; MWRD candidate Tim Bradford; MWRD Commissioner Maria Spyropoulos; Chicago Human Rights Department Commissioner Mona Noriega; Consul General of Israel Roey Gilad; 19th Police District Commander Elias Voulgaris; Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown; Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez; Cook County Assessor and Cook County Democratic Party Chairman Joseph Berrios; Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer; Cook County Commisioner candidate Luis Arroyo, Jr; Illinois Department of Human Rights Director Rocco Clapps; Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Jay Rowell; and Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor.

On the judicial side, Judge John Simon; candidate James Crowley; candidate Judy Rice; Judge Alfred Swanson; Judge Kate Moreland; Judge Cynthia Cobbs; candidate Patricia Sheahan; candidate Diana Rosario; candidate Kristal Rivers; candidate Carolyn Joan Gallegher; and candidate William Raines.

Lana Wachowski at Equality IL gala 2-8-2014 video to come at www.youtube.com/watch .

Equality IL gala 2-8-2014: Jennifer Pritzker and Art Johnston www.youtube.com/watch .

Equality Illinois gala 2-8-2014L Parade of Politicians at www.youtube.com/watch .

Equality IL gala 2-8-2014: Art Johnston speech at www.youtube.com/watch .

Equality IL gala 2-8-2014: Karen Dixon, Nan Schaffer and Art Johnston, www.youtube.com/watch .

Equality IL gala 2-8-2014: Sen. Mark Kirk Award at www.youtube.com/watch .

Equality IL gala 2-8-2014: Chicago Urban League Award at www.youtube.com/watch .



facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

United Latinx Pride June 2-8 2016-05-25
Group launches LGBTQ ads targeting Asian/Pacific Islander families 2016-05-25
Workshop discusses LGBTQ acceptance in Asian families 2016-05-25
Upcoming: 15th 'OUT of the Office' on June 1 2016-05-25
11th annual Queer Prom takes place in Pilsen 2016-05-23
Pro-LGBT groups hold 'Pride Prom' 2016-05-23
Friends of the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame hosts bowling benefit 2016-05-14
Lori Cannon honored by Fifth Third Bank 2016-05-12
More than 55,000 part of CCT On the Table events 2016-05-11
Upcoming: Black feminist symposium. Queer Prom 2016-05-11
GLAAD Hatter Brunch on May 15 2016-05-11
LGBT Hall of Fame Bowling benefit May 14 2016-05-07
GLAAD Hatter Brunch on May 15 2016-05-04
Chicago House Announces Scott Ammarell as its next CEO 2016-05-04
AFC joins lawsuit against Rauner and state agencies for breach of contract 2016-05-04
A Sister's Hope Takes a Swing at Breast Cancer 2016-05-04
Upcoming: Kisses From Mom at Sidetrack May 8, UN Assn Chicago chapter to talk human rights 2016-05-04
Sidetrack hosts 'Havana in Chicago' 2016-05-04
Chicago House holds spring fundraiser 2016-05-02
Foundations join forces to launch Chicago social investment tool 2016-04-29
Engendering Change workshops challenge through shared info 2016-04-27
Chris' Birthday Belt Fest concert benefits Howard Brown Health May 16 2016-04-25
May 22 fundraiser to feature opera singer 2016-04-25
Upcoming: Chicago House spring brunch. Garden of Eve, Engendering Change, Personal PAC panel 2016-04-19
Summit focuses on Tiny Home designs to combat homelessness 2016-04-13
LGBT fund announces transformational grants 2016-04-06
Center announces broadened mission at gala 2016-04-03
Chicago LGBTQ community organizations plan Spring events at Sidetrack 2016-03-21
Dash for Detection Walk/Run April 17 2016-03-08
Gloria Steinem to be Personal PAC'a Annual Awards Luncheon speaker 2016-03-03
CGMC's 'Lipstick' Feb. 26-27; LPAC hosting star-studded benefit 2016-02-23
NOW celebrates 50 years of grassroots feminism in 2016 2016-02-23
Panel looks at question of being Black and queer 2016-02-21
Chicago arts nonprofits awarded MacArthur Awards for Creative and Effective Institutions 2016-02-18
CBGMC hosts'From the Heart' award ceremony 2016-02-16
Black, Queer and Invisible? A chat with Kim Hunt and Zack Stafford 2016-02-11
Pelosi joins Equality Illinois in anniversary celebration 2016-02-07
LGBTQ API group celebrates 10 years 2016-02-03
Pritzker chairing Equality Illinois gala 2016-01-27
Upcoming: LGBTQ Heritage meeting Jan. 28; i2i anniversary Jan. 30; Naperville LGBTQ+ youth 2016-01-27
 



Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.