State Treasurer Michael Frerichs held an event in Chicago yesterday celebrating October as LGBTQ month in the State of Illinois. The event was celebrating LGBTQ members of the business community and in community and public service. “We want to honor people for their successes in their chosen fields of endeavor. More so, we want to provide an example to young boys and girls that may be wondering what they can accomplish in this life, what fields are they are to be limited to. We’re here to show that there are no limits.”
The State of Illinois raised the rainbow Pride flag at the State Capitol for the first time back in June and also passed mandatory LGBTQ history curriculum be taught in public schools in May. Freirichs also highlighted marriage equality, recently passed anti-discrimination laws, and Medicaid coverage for gender affirming surgery.
13th District Illinois Democratic Representative Greg Harris also spoke at the event. Harris is a well-known openly gay and HIV positive lawmaker. Harris sponsored the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection & Civil Union Act in 2010 signed into law by former Governor Pat Quinn that established civil unions in the state. In January of this year, he became the House Majority leader in the State Legislature. Harris talked about legislation helping the trans community that was passed in May: “Last year we finally changed Illinois law so that trans people could go in and correct their birth certificates without having to go through invasive, unwanted, and expensive surgeries.”
Harris also urged the LGBTQ community not to become complacent and to continue to fight for equal rights in the state.