It Takes Our Village
Center on Halsted continues to build and empower the LGBTQ community of Chicagoland, and our work is advancing because of the ACLU of Illinois commitment to LGBTQ advocacy efforts. The ACLU of Illinois firmly believes that rights should not be limited based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The Center’s 2018 Human First Gala theme is IT TAKES OUR VILLAGE and the ACLU of Illinois will be presented the 2018 Community Spirit Award to honor their outstanding contributions to Chicago’s LGBTQ movement..
The dedicated work of the ACLU for LGBTQ rights has a long history and initiated with their first case involving the rights of LGBTQ persons (regarding free experience of sexual orientation) in the mid-1930s. The ACLU of Illinois secured the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples in Illinois and continues to protect gay and lesbian couples from discrimination by those who justify their actions based on religion.
Over the past year, the ACLU of Illinois litigated and advocated for inclusive policies that strengthen the rights of LGBTQ Illinoisans, especially people who are transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming so that they are able to live their authentic lives, without discrimination in employment, have access to accurate identity documents and use of public facilities. In addition they are continuing historic work to resist and combat discrimination for those with HIV.
Expanding diversity and inclusion in society requires each of us to participate, as a community, as ‘our village’, that we build and empower together for many years to come. It takes our village…
Colleen K. Connell, Executive Director of the ACLU of Illinois, shares in the organization’s 2017 report, “Together, we have much work to do. But we already see that we can be successful when we work together. Just this past year, we saw great successes in Illinois …”. Connell includes, “…modernizing the ability of those who are transgender to change the marker on their Illinois birth certificate without costly, unnecessary surgery.”
Connell reinforces two important lessons in the report — democracy is not a spectator sport and each of us needs to participate. She emphasizes, “The ACLU of Illinois stands ready to do our part to drive this movement forward and to work with everyone seeking change and reform. Together, we the people are creating the vision of a state and a nation we want for ourselves, and for future generations.”
Join us to celebrate the accomplishments of the ACLU of Illinois, while we look forward to the work ahead, building a world where we are, above all, Human First.
Our annual Human First Gala is on Saturday, April 21.