State of Illinois Archives: on Civil Rights


Tammy Duckworth: Calls for Justice Dept investigation into gay hate crime

I joined @senBooker and @RepPressley in calling for @TheJusticeDept to conduct an independent investigation into the brutal murder of an unarmed #Ahmaud Arbery and whether county officials violated his civil rights by failing to even arrest let alone prosecute his killers.
Source: Twitter posting on 2022 Illinois Senate race May 15, 2020

J.B. Pritzker: Lengthened hours of early voting, have mail balloting

We have actually lengthened our hours of early voting. We have mail balloting. We've had record mail balloting this year. So we're going to go ahead with it. But we've been extra careful at all of our polling places. Everybody is practicing good hygiene. And we're making sure that it's safe for people to come and vote. The schools are closed, so many people will be voting in schools. And there won't be big crowds.
Source: Meet the Press interview for 2022 Illinois Governor race Mar 15, 2020

J.B. Pritzker: Pride flag flew at state capitol for first tie in history

I asked Secretary of State Jesse White to fly a Pride flag over the Illinois state capitol for the first time in our history. After all, we have a choice about how we tell our story, and I want our Illinois story to be one of hope, inclusion, opportunity and kindness. I want it to be inspired every day by the fundamental goodness of the people who live and work here and who struggle so hard for a fair shot.
Source: 2020 Illinois State of the State address Jan 29, 2020

Mark Curran: The wrong people moved in, and changed Lake County

Former Sheriff Mark Curran--who is seeking to run against Sen. Dick Durbin--argued Lake County is no longer purple. It's blue.

But he went a little further than that. "You know, the wrong people moved in, what have you," Curran said at the Illinois Republican County Chairman's Association breakfast in Springfield. "We need to change that and we will."

It's unclear whether Curran was talking about the demographics or the politics of the county. Curran later told the Sun-Times he was referring to "Chicago transplants that vote Democrat and do not mind paying high taxes," noting Lake County has the highest property taxes in the state.

He said any assumption that he was talking about demographics is just from "partisan liars." "It's nonsense that I would ever refer to minorities," Curran said. "It's horrible to even think that."

Source: Chicago Sun-Times on 2020 Illinois Senate race Aug 15, 2019

J.B. Pritzker: Supports LGBT equality

I will reverse Rauner's cuts to critical after-school and anti-violence programs. I will declare that transgender individuals are welcome to serve their state as state troopers and I will stand against LGBT bullying and intolerance in our schools. Most importantly, I will seek diverse input and ensure all Illinoisans have a seat at the table and a voice in their government.
Source: 2018 Illinois Gubernatorial website JBPritzker com Sep 15, 2017

Ameya Pawar: Everyone deserves equal rights

Ameya supports the full inclusion of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender neighbors, friends, and family members. Ameya will protect and honor marriage equality and transgender rights as well as deploy anti-bullying campaigns. He will vigorously uphold all laws to protect the LGBT community from discrimination and will strengthen Illinois' commitment to equal rights for all people.
Source: 2018 Illinois Gubernatorial website pawar2018.com Sep 1, 2017

Chris Kennedy: Supports LGBTQ rights

Chris fully supports proactive efforts to advance civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ people in Illinois. He will provide full support for efforts to toughen anti-hate crime legislation, protect every person's right to marry the partner they love, work in a safe environment free from discrimination and harassment, ensure full access to health care for themselves and their partners, adopt children, and have access to all rights afforded to heterosexual and cisgender men and women.
Source: 2018 Illinois Gubernatorial website KennedyForIllinois.com Sep 1, 2017

Daniel Biss: Protect GLBT by updating laws

Under Illinois law, the fear of someone's sexual orientation or identity can be used as an acceptable defense for violence. Daniel's bill ends this archaic practice and puts Illinois on the right side of history. Prohibiting youth conversion therapy. Daniel sponsored the Youth Mental Health Act, which prohibits "gay conversion" therapy for minors in the state of Illinois.
Source: 2018 Illinois Gubernatorial website DanielBiss.com Sep 1, 2017

Ameya Pawar: Rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day

Pawar would work to have Illinois rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day. "This is about acknowledging the contributions indigenous people have made to our country and celebrating the cultural history of Native Americans living in Illinois," Pawar said in a statement. "It's also about raising awareness of the inhumane treatment of Native Americans by European settlers who raided their land, ripped apart their families and nearly destroyed an entire race of people.
Source: Chicago Tribune on 2018 Illinois gubernatorial race Aug 24, 2017

Bruce Rauner: Accepts gay marriage as settled

Rauner has taken a few LGBT-supportive actions, such as signing into law a ban on the use of "ex-gay" therapy on minors by state-licensed professionals. During his 2014 race for governor against incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn, Rauner said he would have vetoed the marriage equality bill that Quinn signed into law, but Rauner also said he would not try to undo marriage equality in the state--now a moot point because of the 2015 Supreme Court decision.
Source: The Advocate on 2018 Illinois gubernatorial race Jul 17, 2017

Bruce Rauner: Create minority enterprise small business investment program

Too many people in our communities must overcome not only hurdles that state government has put in place, but also decades of hidden barriers that have caused their communities to suffer. Approximately 80% of individuals in Illinois apprenticeship programs are white even though Caucasians make up fewer than 63% of our population. Whatever the reason for this disparity, it has gone on for too long, and we must take specific, positive action to end this unfair situation.

We should require unions that contract with the state to have their apprenticeship programs reflect the demographics of Illinois communities, and to have their membership on public construction projects reflect the diversity in the surrounding area. And we should create a Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Program to assist minority entrepreneurs in startups throughout Illinois.

Source: State of the State address to 2015 Illinois Legislature Feb 4, 2015

Sharon Hansen: Government shouldn't redefine marriage

Question topic: Marriage is a union of one man and one woman. No government has the authority to alter this definition.

Hansen: Agree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Illinois Senate race Sep 30, 2014

Napoleon Harris: Ban sexual orientation conversion therapy for minors

HB 217 Prohibits Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy for Minors: Bill Passed Senate (34 - 19) Napoleon Harris voted Yea
Source: VoteSmart synopsis of 2014 Illinois voting records May 29, 2014

Jeanne Ives: Voted NO on ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment

Legislative Summary & OnTheIssues notes: Provides for the ratification of the proposed equal rights amendment (ERA) to the US Constitution.The ERA says:
  1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the US or by any state on account of sex.
  2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce the provisions of this article.
  3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 39-11 on May 22; Rep. Jeanne Ives voted NAY; bill then died in House committee.
Source: Illinois legislative voting records: SJRCA 75 May 27, 2014

Daniel Biss: Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

Legislative Summary & OnTheIssues notes: Provides for the ratification of the proposed equal rights amendment (ERA) to the US Constitution.The ERA says:
  1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the US or by any state on account of sex.
  2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce the provisions of this article.
  3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 39-11 on May 22; Sen. Daniel Biss voted AYE; bill then died in House committee.
Source: Illinois legislative voting records: SJRCA 75 May 22, 2014

Jim Oberweis: Voted NO on ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment

Legislative Summary & OnTheIssues notes: Provides for the ratification of the proposed equal rights amendment (ERA) to the US Constitution.The ERA says:
  1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the US or by any state on account of sex.
  2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce the provisions of this article.
  3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 39-11 on May 22; Sen. Jim Oberweis voted NAY; bill then died in House committee.
Source: Illinois legislative voting records: SJRCA 75 May 22, 2014

Napoleon Harris: Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

Legislative Summary & OnTheIssues notes: Provides for the ratification of the proposed equal rights amendment (ERA) to the US Constitution.The ERA says:
  1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the US or by any state on account of sex.
  2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce the provisions of this article.
  3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 39-11 on May 22; Sen. Napoleon Harris voted AYE; bill then died in House committee.
Source: Illinois legislative voting records: SJRCA 75 May 22, 2014

Napoleon Harris: Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

SJRCA 75 Ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment: Bill Passed Senate (39 - 11); Napoleon Harris voted Yea.
Source: VoteSmart synopsis of 2014 Illinois voting records May 22, 2014

Jim Oberweis: Voted no on state-level same-sex marriage

Oberweis voted NAY on SB 10, a bill to Authorize Same-Sex Marriage (Concurrence Vote Passed Senate, 32 - 21)

VoteSmart Synopsis: Vote to concur with House amendments and pass a bill that authorizes same-sex marriage.

Source: VoteSmart 2013-2014 Illinois state legislative records Nov 5, 2013

Doug Truax: Uphold one-man, one-woman definition, but let states decide

On Teri O'Brien's radio show, Republican candidate Doug Truax confirmed that he will push for a debate with US Senator Dick Durbin before next November. Among a number of issues with which he disagrees with Durbin, Truax, a West Point grad, said the military should be allowed to interrogate jihadists and not be restricted from using means necessary to protect American lives.

He said he is "very pro-life," and unlike Durbin, would support policies that limit abortion. When O'Brien pointed out that Dick Durbin said in an interview that he changed from being pro-life to being radically pro-abortion because pro-life people he'd met in DC were so mean, Truax responded, "How's that for conviction?"

When asked about same sex marriage, Truax said that his religious beliefs uphold the one-man, one-woman definition of marriage, but states should determine their will on the topic, rather than federal mandates.

Source: Illinois Review on 2014 Illinois Senate debate Oct 6, 2013

Mark Curran: Gay marriage against interests of children & society

Sheriff Mark Curran gave three main reasons based on his experience and expertise in criminal justice: "First, same sex marriage is not in the best interest of children; Second, same sex marriage is not in the best interest of society; and Third, same sex marriage will result in the loss of liberty for those opposed to same sex marriage."

[Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Bill passed ˙61-54 House vote on 11/5/13; passed Senate 32-21; signed by Gov. Quinn on 11/20/23]

Source: Illinois Review on 2013 Illinois Civil Unions voting record May 7, 2013

Pat Quinn: Marriage equality is coming to Illinois

Our Illinois is not a land of discrimination. Four years ago, nobody thought civil unions would be possible here. Today, civil unions are the law of our state. And nearly 5,200 couples across 94 counties have joined in a civil union.

Now, it's time to take that next step in achieving full equality. Marriage equality is coming to Illinois.

Source: 2013 State of the State speech to Illinois Legislature Feb 6, 2013

Pat Quinn: Make IL the leading employer of people with disabilities

Four years ago, Illinois lagged behind the nation in providing community care to people with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges. We were institutionalizing more people than any other state. So we are changing that. We're committed to making sure all our citizens--regardless of the challenges they face--have the opportunity to reach their full potential. That's why we closed outdated institutions--and we invested in community care.

Because of our commitment, Illinois will soon receive significant new resources to provide supportive housing for people with disabilities. These resources will provide not only a roof over their heads, but also the skills training, counseling, and services they need to become productive members of their communities.

And we're not done yet. We want Illinois to be the nation's leading employer of people with disabilities. With your partnership, we can double the rate of employment for people with disabilities by 2015.

Source: 2013 State of the State speech to Illinois Legislature Feb 6, 2013

Pat Quinn: Same rights for same-sex couples as heterosexual couples

Gov. Quinn believe the committed relationships of same-sex couples deserve the same basic recognition rights that are currently extended to married heterosexual couples--including the right to act as next of kin, the right to assist their partners in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and the right to equal treatment in property and inheritance. Gov. Quinn will work actively with the Legislature to assure fairness and equal justice under our laws.
Source: 2010 Gubernatorial website quinnforillinois.com, "Issues" Nov 2, 2010

Alexi Giannoulias: Repeal DOMA; make all civil marriages equal

Currently, Americans in same-sex relationships are denied inheritance rights, hospital visitation rights, equal pension and health care benefits, and all of the other legal protections that the government grants married couples.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, AlexiForIllinois.com, "Issues" Dec 25, 2009

Alexi Giannoulias: Narrow the pay disparity for women

Despite decades of progress, women working full time make only 78 cents for every one dollar earned by men for the same job, while working mothers earn just 69 cents to that dollar.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, AlexiForIllinois.com, "Issues" Dec 25, 2009

Steven Sauerberg: Hired Log Cabin Republicans as press secretary

Sauerberg stunned social conservatives last week when he announced the addition of a homosexual rights activist as his campaign’s new press secretary. Christopher Barron was point man for the Log Cabin Republicans in their 2004 campaign against the effor to add a federal marriage amendment to the Constitution.

“It is inconceivable that Sauerberg would so needlessly alienate the pro-family conservative base by hiring a veteran homosexual activist,” said the founder of Republicans For Family Values.

Source: 2008 Illinois Senate Debate: Illinois Review interview Mar 31, 2008

Alan Keyes: Gay marriage invalid because gay couples cannot reproduce

Q: [to Keyes]: You’ve criticized homosexuality throughout your career. What would you say to your child if he or she were a homosexual?

KEYES: Marriage is based upon heterosexual relations because they are connected to procreation. Where procreation is impossible, marriage is irrelevant. And that is the civic explanation against homosexual marriage. It is irrelevant. And the idea that one should have legislation that is regulating private friendships for no reason is a degrading of those friendships.

OBAMA: Well, to answer the original question, I would love that child and seek to support them. I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman but I detest the bashing and vilifying of gays and lesbians. Most gays and lesbians are seeking basic recognition of their rights so they’re not discriminated against in employment or renting a house, so they can see their partner in a hospital. These are rights for everybody, not just some people.

Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes Oct 21, 2004

Barack Obama: Gays should not face discrimination but should not marry

Q: [to Keyes]: You’ve criticized homosexuality throughout your career. What would you say to your child if he or she were a homosexual?

KEYES: Marriage is based upon heterosexual relations because they are connected to procreation. Where procreation is impossible, marriage is irrelevant. And that is the civic explanation against homosexual marriage. It is irrelevant. And the idea that one should have legislation that is regulating private friendships for no reason is a degrading of those friendships.

OBAMA: Well, to answer the original question, I would love that child and seek to support them. I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman but I detest the bashing and vilifying of gays and lesbians. Most gays and lesbians are seeking basic recognition of their rights so they’re not discriminated against in employment or renting a house, so they can see their partner in a hospital. These are rights for everybody, not just some people.

Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes Oct 21, 2004

Barack Obama: Defend freedom and equality under law

As a civil rights attorney and professor of constitutional law, Obama has a keen understanding and deep appreciation of our nation’s core values and guiding principles. Obama will be a fierce defender of the fundamental American values of freedom and equality under law.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, ObamaForIllinois.com May 2, 2004

Mike Bost: Apply affirmative action to all state hiring & colleges

Q: Affirmative Action: Which of the following state agencies should take race and sex into account when making employment decisions? College and university admissions?

A: Yes.

Q: Public employment?

A: Yes.

Q: State contracting?

A: Yes.

Source: 2000 Illinois National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2000

Rodney Davis: No affirmative action

Source: Illinois State 1996 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1996

  • The above quotations are from State of Illinois Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Civil Rights.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Civil Rights:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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