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GOP Gov pokes IL social conservatives in eye attending abortion, gay rights event




CHICAGO – Saturday night, Governor Rauner – a Republican that refuses to reach out to the Illinois' GOP social conservative base – will celebrate abortion, gay rights and transsexualism by keynoting a banquet.

Rauner's GOP Primary opponent Jeanne Ives pointed to the press release Saturday and wrote:

Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 1.32.16 PM

He'll be commenting to a social leftist audience, Equality Illinois' press release says: 

A full house of nearly 1,500 people is expected at the 2018 Equality Illinois Gala on Saturday night to hear about the successes and ongoing challenges of building a stronger Illinois in the face of national headwinds against LGBTQ civil rights.

The gala, which benefits the yearlong statewide LGBTQ civil rights work of Equality Illinois Institute, will recognize Planned Parenthood of Illinois, transgender youth activist Jazz Jennings, and longtime LGBTQ activist Jim Bennett. Guests will also hear from three Illinois residents who will speak on the multidimensional work of the organization and how their lives have been directly impacted by it.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and 100 other elected officials and candidates will be introduced, plus community members, dignitaries, and allied supporters plan to attend the gala, which is annually the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ formal celebration, on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at the Hilton Chicago. Some of the world’s most recognizable corporate and brand names are among the sponsors of the event.

“On the national level we are seeing a really big rise in anti-LGBTQ sentiment, particularly from the administration in Washington,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. “Seeing that happen in Washington, so many of our allies and champions in the state just were willing to say those efforts and actions don’t represent our values here in Illinois, and it’s incumbent upon us to make sure that Illinois demonstrates its values of being a fully equal and inclusive state. We will be celebrating that commitment at the gala.”

Three significant legislative wins over the last year, achieved with bipartisan support, include laws to end the anti-LGBTQ panic defense, modernize the state law so transgender Illinoisans can get correct birth certificates without surgery, and build LGBTQ representation on state boards and commissions.

“However, our conversations with LGBTQ people throughout Illinois bring home the challenges they continue to face in our schools, in accessing health care, and in the criminal justice system, and we will be discussing at the gala how we plan to tackle those issues in the years ahead,” Johnson said.

The three honorees will be recognized Saturday night for working to improve the lives of LGBTQ people. For her activism on behalf of her fellow transgender youth, Jazz Jennings will be honored as the first recipient of the Equality Illinois Spotlight Award. The 2018 Freedom Award will be presented to Jim Bennett, recently retired after 11 years at Lambda Legal, for his work throughout the Midwest fighting for LGBTQ rights, including chairing the Illinois Unites for Marriage coalition. Planned Parenthood of Illinois will receive the Business Leadership Award for its century of providing reproductive health care and expansion in recent years into providing transgender health care services.

Gov. Rauner and Mayor Emanuel will give brief remarks to lead off the gala dinner. Other public officials and candidates who are planning to attend include former Gov. Pat Quinn, U.S. Reps. Robin Kelly, Mike Quigley, and Brad Schneider, Secretary of State Jesse White, state Treasurer Michael Frerichs, state Comptroller Susana Mendoza, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County State’s Atty. Kim Foxx, Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown, Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor, Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia, Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers, and many other state legislators, county commissioners, aldermen, judges, and candidates.

Illinois businesses and the state’s philanthropic community continue to provide robust support for the gala and the ongoing work of Equality Illinois.

The Presenting Sponsor of the 2018 Equality Illinois Gala is United Airlines.

Platinum Sponsors are Breakthru Beverage Illinois, GCM Grosvenor, Hilton Chicago, Sidetrack, and Bruce and Diana Rauner.

Gold Sponsors are JB and MK Pritzker, TAWANI Foundation, MillerCoors, Takeda, and Fred Eychaner, Alphawood Foundation.

Silver Sponsors are Laura and Brooke Ricketts, McDermott Will & Emery, Morgan Stanley, Kirkland & Ellis, C.N.A., and Exelon.

Bronze Sponsors are Hinshaw & Culbertson, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg, Walgreens, BMO Harris, Eileen Dordek and Chris Landgraff, Seyfarth Shaw, Chapman and Cutler, Sidley Austin, Schiff Hardin, Allstate, DLA Piper, Katten Muchin Rosenman, Akerman, Supergurl Images, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.


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  1. Nothing like hurling a loogie in the eye of conservatives. “No-Social-Agenda Rauner” knows he has irrevocably lost them, so why not spit at them by celebrating sexual impersonation and compulsory taxpayer-funded feticide.
    And some weak-kneed Republicans think Jeanne Ives’ campaign video is too controversial. Sheesh.
    Ives was made for such a time as this.

  2. This really explains the need for Chairman Schneider to publicly call for Jeanne Ives to take down her commercial. What she ridicules, he will tout as accomplishments tonight. I’m glad that you included the list of sponsors and other attendees. It’s very telling. Both frontrunners for governor are sponsors and guess who gave more to the cause.

  3. This is well beyond Democrat-lite; it is Democrat-heavy. The agenda of Equality Illinois is radical socialist, extending far beyond the issue of gay marriage. Coming to you soon: transgender males sharing bathrooms with your little girls.

  4. Since when does being a republican mean we can’t reach out to other groups. Advocates of gay rights (among are groups) are likely pissed about their property taxes too. In order to change this State multiple constituencies will have to work together. We can’t afford a war on social issues, we need to focus on energy on fixing the economic mess that 35 years of Madigan and his pals has created. To achieve this, outreach of this kind just makes sense. Unfortunately the far right of the party can’t see that they live in a center-left state and believe antagonizing everyone who doesn’t subscribe to their limited view is a winning strategy (spoiler alert: it’s not).

  5. IF this is HOW to “reach out” to them, then clearly the Republican Party itself is afflicted by a much bigger problem than even the issue of taxes in Illinois. Bruce’s Republicans raised the taxes, by the way. The Republicans most likely to attend these events raised the taxes. So, I have no intention of voting for them.

  6. Bruce Rauner is unelectable. He has lost the Republican base with all of his liberal, progressive, socialist views and policies. He is correctly labeled the worst Republican Governor in the nation for a reason.
    One thing is for sure…the Democrat candidates saw his Republican challenger, Jeanne Ives, wipe the floor with Governor Rauner this past Monday in their debate. The woman is a lioness…a West Point graduate and former Army captain to boot. She knows her stuff inside out. You can bet that Bruce Rauner is still licking his wounds and will not want any more debates with her. She totally exposed how weak of a leader he is.
    She is unleashing the truth of what thousands of Illinoisans are so upset about…they are moving out of our state in droves for a reason. Taxes and corruption in our state are totally out of control and Illinoisans are furious. If the vote is between Bruce Rauner and ANY Democrat in November he will get crushed…Republicans will not go out and vote for him. Every Democrat candidate has already stated that they are committed to raising taxes and fees higher.
    The EXODUS of family members, friends, and neighbors from Illinois will turn into a stampede with a Democrat governor.

  7. The Highland Park Library has a book called “The Hidden Hitler”. This is about the Homosexual life of Adolf and the National Socialist elite in Germany. The first place they burned books was a place helping people remove same sex attraction. One of the purpose of the Hitler youth was to give the National Socialist elite some boys to satisfy their desires. Our Governor and all of our National Socialist in Illinois seem not to respect the 10 commandments of God give to us by Moses.
    Love Save Lives
    Carl Lambrecht