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Gov candidate Ives releases anti-trans ad
by Matt Simonette
2018-02-02

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Anti-LGBT gubernatorial candidate state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) is running an ad mocking, among other groups, transgender Illinoisans.

The ad features what's intended as a comic depiction of a masculine man wearing a dress, "thanking" Gov. Bruce Rauner for "legislation that lets me use the girls' bathroom."

As the supposedly transgender person speaks, a subtitle references the HB 1785 legislation, which Rauner signed in Aug. 2017. That bill, sponsored by state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and Sen. Toi Hutchison (D-Olympia Fields), allows transgender Illinoisans to change their birth certificates without having to undergo surgery, and only circuitously affected trans persons and public accommodations.

Ives, who is challenging incumbent Rauner in the March 20 primary, has had a long history of opposing LGBT rights and other progressive causes. Among those also targeted in the ad are the Chicago Teachers Union, the immigrant community and women who've had abortions. During the campaign, Ives has steadfastly reiterated a message that the governor has betrayed his conservative supporters.

The governor's campaign responded to the ad, but did not comment on its substance, in a Feb. 2 statement: "Governor Rauner is the only candidate in either party who will take on Mike Madigan, cut taxes, and reform our state. Representative Ives has already admitted that she's not willing to take on Mike Madigan and will keep his 32% tax hike—not surprising given her history of opposing property tax reductions. Looks like J.B. Pritzker has some competition as Mike Madigan's favorite candidate."

Brian C. Johnson, CEO, Equality Illinois, the state's LGBTQ civil rights organization, said: "We had hoped for a higher level of discourse from someone seeking the highest office in the state. At a time when our leaders should be bringing Illinoisans together, Jeanne Ives is launching a campaign of division and rancor. We need a governor who will stand up for all Illinoisans, not someone who will target transgender Illinoisans for her personal political benefit."

Colleen K Connell, executive director of ACLU of Illinois, said in a statement that, "It is sad that a candidate for the office of Governor of Illinois would seek to divide voters by attacking our neighbors, friends and colleagues who are newcomers and refugees, those of a different race, those who are transgender and poor women in need of health care."

Republican Attorney General Candidate Erika Harold released the following statement: "This ad denigrates, mocks and marginalizes groups of Illinoisans and cannot represent our Republican Party. I call on the Ives campaign to immediately take it off the air. The Republican Party must be about fighting for the ideals and values that have made our country the envy of the world and promoting the dignity and value of every Illinoisan."

See www.youtube.com/watch .



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