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CHICAGO, Ill. - Equality Illinois, the state’s civil rights organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Illinoisans, today announced endorsements of a record number of LGBTQ candidates for seats in the Illinois General Assembly.

 

“Equality Illinois is excited to announce our endorsements today for candidates running for the Illinois General Assembly because their voices can make our state fairer and more just for LGBTQ people and increase LGBTQ representation in elected office,” said Justin DeJong, Board Chair of Equality Illinois, a 501(c)(4) organization. “In recent years, Illinois has been a beacon of equality and inclusion but we have so much more work to do. These endorsed candidates will advance our progress as we keep fighting for equality and inclusion for all LGBTQ Illinoisans.”

 

Equality Illinois endorsed 59 candidates for the Illinois General Assembly, including 13 out LGBTQ candidates.

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“As an organization that promotes representation in roles of public leadership, we are excited to see so many openly LGBTQ people lending their talents and perspectives to public service,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. “Representation at tables of power matters when it comes to passing inclusive policies and for changing hearts and minds by sharing our stories. We particularly highlight and are thankful for our openly LGBTQ state representatives: House Majority Leader Greg Harris, State Reps. Kelly Cassidy, Sam Yingling, Lamont Robinson, and Yoni Pizer.”

 

LGBTQ candidates endorsed today are State Rep. Lamont Robinson (HD 5), Ty Cratic (HD 9), State Rep. Yoni Pizer (HD 12), Illinois House Majority Leader Greg Harris (HD 13), State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (HD 14), Michelle Darbro (HD 20), Denika McMillen (HD 41), Ken Mejia-Beal (HD 42), Maggie Trevor (HD 54), State Rep. Sam Yingling (HD 62), Brian Sager (HD 63), Karla Bailey-Smith (HD 88), and Emiliano Vera (HD 93).

 

Of the 59 endorsed candidates, Equality Illinois is supporting 41 incumbent state legislators.

 

“We especially thank our legislative incumbents for advancing justice for LGBTQ people in 2019,” said Johnson. “Last year, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Inclusive Curriculum Law, which ensures the stories of LGBTQ people will be included in history taught in public schools across Illinois. LGBTQ youth will now see themselves in the history of Illinois and America, and curriculum will continue to convey that a diverse group of people have contributed to society.”

 

Legislators also supported key bills to ensure single-occupancy restrooms are designated as gender neutral, to affirm LGBTQ elders and older adults living with HIV, to prohibit discrimination in jury service, and to allow for individuals to select a non-binary designation on state driver’s licenses.

 

Equality Illinois, a 501(c)(4) organization, engages in the advocacy and electoral processes to defend and advance full equality, justice, and fairness for LGBTQ individuals and their families in Illinois.

 

Endorsements are based on responses on candidate questionnaires and voting records. Here is the full list of Equality Illinois’ endorsements for the March 17, 2020 primary election:

 

Cook County State’s Attorney

Illinois House of Representatives

Illinois Senate

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