Archive for the ‘Meetings and Events’ Category

Equality Illinois Holds Faith Forum

December 4, 2010

Equality recently held a forum in Bloomington to help LGBT-supportive clergy and lay people to network. It is one of the first projects of the organization’s recently launched Religious Outreach Committee. Equality Illinois staff report that they are planning to hold similar meetings across the state. Here is the report from Equality Illinois on the meeting:

Equality Illinois, Advocacy Council for Human Rights, and Allied for Equality hosted an Interfaith Equality Roundtable breakfast discussion this past November 16 in Bloomington. The main goal of the discussion was to connect clergy, lay leaders, and LGBT community groups from central Illinois to each other, and also forge a dialogue about how faith can unite us in the struggle for equality.

Equality Illinois continues to build upon our successful Faith & Freedom Initiative. The project engages leaders and communities of faith in understanding LGBT equality issues, what same-sex partnership recognition means, and how it affects people on the ground every single day.

Numerous questions were considered during the roundtable: What are we are we doing (or have done) at our places of worship to make LGBT congregants feel welcome? How do we have discussions with other faith communities about LGBT acceptance and equality? How can religion-based bigotry be countered?

The roundtable was a great start to the ongoing discussion of how to incorporate faith and LGBT equality while working together. Our goal is to continue this in the future and grow it. We had fifteen people at this roundtable. Now let’s grow that to fifty! 

Equality Illinois to Host Civil Union Forums

December 4, 2010

Equality Illinois, the state’s leading LGBT advocacy organization, will be hosting two community forums this month to answer everyone’s questions about the civil unions bill that just passed and what it will mean for the LGBT community in Illinois. The events will be Dec. 9 in Belleville and Dec. 16 in Chicago. Detailed time and location information as it becomes available. Call (773) 477-7173 for more information.

Come to Marriage Presentation and Discussion

June 28, 2010

Come to a special presentation on the movement toward same-sex equality in Illinois at noon on Sunday, August 1 at Second Unitarian Church of Chicago, 656 W. Barry Ave. Get the latest information on efforts to pass a civil unions bill this year, as well as the longer-term strategy of moving toward achieving marriage equality both here in Illinois as well as nationally. Gregory Potts will also be leading a conversation about the next steps forward for the Illinois Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry. We are seeking the input of all stakeholders in this issue. Snacks will be provided.

July Strategy Meeting Scheduled

June 13, 2010

Representatives of the Illinois Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry will meet jointly with allies from Equality Illinois and the Illinois Interfaith Coalition for Civil Unions at 6:30 p.m. on July 8 at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. All activists committed to passing a civil unions bill in Illinois this year are welcome to join in this meeting to help with strategy, planning, and organizing.

Prop 8 Documentary to Screen in Chicago

June 6, 2010

8: The Mormon Proposition, a documentary about the role of the Mormon Church in efforts to pass the proposition that stripped same-sex couples in California of their marriages rights, will soon be showing in Chicago. The Sundance hit will be showing at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., Chicago, beginning June 18.

You can also e-mail to RVSP for spots at an advance screening on June 13. The screening is co-sponsored by Human Rights Campaign and Affirmation, the lgbt group of Latter-Day Saints and ex-Latter-Day Saints.

The film will also be available on DVD and On Demand. Check out the trailer:

Illinois LGBT Community Celebrates Pride

June 4, 2010

The Chicago Pride Parade on June 27 is the biggest LGBT pride event in the Midwest. But there are many other pride events throughout the state and throughout the summer.  Follow the links below for more information. If your town’s pride event is missing from the list, please let us know, so we can add it. Let us know what you and your congregation will do to celebrate pride this year!

June 5 and 6 – Quad Cities Pride concert and festival, Davenport, Iowa
June 12 – Latino Pride Picnic, Chicago
June 19 – Metro East Pride Festival, Belleville
June 26 – Dyke March, Chicago
July 4 – Windy City Black Pride Love Fest, Chicago
August 20 – Champaign-Urbana Pride Fest
August 29 – West Suburban Gay Association Picnic, Schaumburg
September 12 – Peoria Pride

Chicago Area Churches Celebrate Pride Month

June 3, 2010

The Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches has announced a series of June events in honor of Pride month.

JUNE (various dates) – CLASS/COACHING GROUP – “Choose Life: A Heart-Centered Approach at Coming Out Crossroads” by Rev. Jacki Belile, a lesbian Baptist minister & spiritual life coach at Living Well Ministries, 6554 N. Rockwell. 7 PM to 9 PM (Tuesdays June 8-22). $15/session. Optional Meditation 7-7:20 PM/ Program 7:30-9 PM. Part of annual Pride series by members of Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches. 773-655-4357.

JUNE 9 – WORSHIP SERVICE – Annual Pride gathering at Lakeview Presbyterian Church, 716 W. Addison. 7 PM. Part of annual Pride series by members of Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches. 773-281-2655.

JUNE 16 – ECUMENICAL SERVICE – “Any Body, Every Body, Christ’s Body: Celebrating 25 Years Being Open and Affirming” at Congregational United Church of Christ, 1001 West Kirchoff Rd., Arlington Heights, IL. 7:30 PM. Part of annual Pride series by members of Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches. 847-392-6650.

JUNE 23 – EUCHARIST/HOLY COMMUNION CELEBRATION – “From Promise to Pride” at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 3309 N. Seminary. 7 PM. Part of annual Pride series by members of Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches. 773-525-0605.

JUNE 26 – WORKSHOP – “Befriending the Bible: Reading Condemnation with CARE” by Living Well Ministries, 6554 N. Rockwell. Led by Rev. Jacki Belile, a lesbian Baptist minister & spiritual life coach. 1 PM to 4 PM. Pre-registration required: $45 ($35 if paid by June 10). Part of annual Pride series by members of Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches. 773-655-4357.

For a complete list of Chicago area pride events, visit the Chicago Pride Calendar.

Help Us Strategize for Civil Unions

May 21, 2010

Leaders of the Illinois Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry will be meeting with allies at the next strategy session of the Illinois Interfaith Committee for Civil Unions at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 26, at the offices of Equality Illinois, 3318 N. Halsted St. Please drop me a line at if you plan to join us!

Congressman Promotes Immigration Equality

May 19, 2010

Rep. Luis Gutierrez

The inability to marry has particularly devastating consequences for binational same-sex couples. When a person from another country falls in love with a U.S. citizen of the same sex, marriage does not allow a path to permanent residents or citizenship as it does for opposite-sex couples. As a result, the couple can be forced to separate if one is deported. Fortunately, some of our leaders in Washington are working to do something about it. Bernard Cherkasov, the CEO of Equality Illinois, sent an e-mail today announcing a press conference next week with U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Chicago:

Dear friends:
U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez will hold a press conference on Monday, May 24, at 12:00 p.m. at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre in the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted Street, Chicago.  He will be joined by other members of Congress, including Rep. Polis of Colorado, and by leaders from numerous civil rights organizations representing the LGBT and immigrant communities, including Equality Illinois. 
The Congressman plans to address the immigrant and LGBT communities and announce his support for truly comprehensive immigration reform that includes equal rights for same-sex binational couples.
I encourage all of you, our friends in the communities of faith, to come show your support for truly comprehensive immigration reform. 
I look forward to seeing you on Monday.

Bernard Cherkasov, Esq.
Chief Executive Officer

Strategy Meeting Location Moves

May 5, 2010

Our strategy session, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, May 10, is going to be meeting at the offices of Equality Illinois, 3318 N. Halsted St., instead of the Center on Halsted as previously announced. Our goal is to get either a civil union/domestic partnership bill or a marriage equality bill passed this year. Please join us!