Equality Illinois honors Greg Harris at annual Pride Kickoff Brunch

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To kick off Pride month, Equality Illinois hosted its fourth annual brunch at Venue West on June 4. The event honored Illinois House Majority Leader Greg Harris, and featured speeches from Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

“We have fights and battles that are coming, that are here right now, but let’s remember during this month of pride, we also have a lot to be grateful for,” Lightfoot said.

Equality Illinois is an organization that promotes legislation protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ people and increases the visibility of issues facing the LGBTQ+ community.

Harris—who is retiring at the end of the year—accepted the Community Pride Award at the event; he was honored because of his work implementing policies that protect the LGBTQ+ community as the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve as a legislative leader in the Illinois General Assembly.

Harris briefly thanked the organization for his award but spent most of his speech discussing the political progress the queer community has made in recent years as well as how easily newly gained rights can be lost if well-meaning people choose to be apathetic.

“What I see coming is what you see coming: the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ people, the anti-trans people, people spreading false replacement theories—they’re organizing and they’re out there,” Harris said. “But I think our biggest danger is the folks of goodwill and the folks who share our values sitting this election out this year.”

Lightfoot, Harris and Pritzker each addressed recent anti-LGBTQ+ legislation passed in other states and other prevalent threats to queer people’s rights while encouraging attendees to vote in the state’s upcoming elections.

“There are Republican candidates running for governor of Illinois right now who are funded by the very same people who backed Ron DeSantis and his dangerous agenda in Florida,” Pritzker said. “So let me be clear: As long as I’m governor and we stand together and fight, LGBTQ+ rights are here to stay in the state of Illinois.”

To learn more about EQUALITY Illinois, visit: www.equalityillinois.us/ .

Feeds,News,Region: Chicago,City: Chicago

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June 5, 2022 at 09:59AM

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