* From an e-mail announcing Equality Illinois’ endorsement of JB Pritzker for governor…
“Whichever Democratic candidate advances to the general election, the Equality Illinois PAC Board knows that it will have a supporter for LGBTQ equality.”
The Equality Illinois PAC is proud to endorse JB Pritzker for Governor and his running mate Juliana Stratton for Lieutenant Governor.
“JB Pritzker has been a strong and public champion of the LGBTQ community since long before support for LGBTQ equality was the norm among Democratic political leaders,” said John Litchfield, Equality Illinois PAC Board Chair. “Going back decades, he has marched in Pride parades, worked to elect LGBTQ people to office, and supported civic organizing efforts of LGBTQ community groups to broaden support for LGBTQ equality. There are few leaders in our state who have served as courageously and consistently for LGBTQ equality over recent decades as JB Pritzker.”
Litchfield added, “We endorse JB Pritzker and Juliana Stratton in the Democratic primary with the expectation that as Governor and Lieutenant Governor they will meet us at our table as active participants in the conversations and issues facing the LGBTQ community in Illinois now and in the future.”
* Greg Hinz…
For the second time in two weeks, a major Illinois rights group has endorsed only one Democratic candidate for governor, J.B. Pritzker, bypassing other contenders who appear to be equally strong backers of the group’s agenda. […]
The endorsement is reminiscent of last month’s decision by Personal PAC, an abortion rights group, to back only Pritzker. As was the case with Personal PAC, Pritzker is a major financial backer of Equality Illinois: He was a gold-level, $15,000 sponsor of its annual fundraising dinner last month and chaired the event two years ago, with $30,000 donated then. […]
[Equality Illinois Executive Director Brian Johnson said] “the board felt he had the best chance to bring the pro-LGBTQ message” to success in the November election. That’s similar to what Personal PAC officials said in arguing that Pritzker alone in the Democratic field has the financial resources needed to battle the likely GOP victor, incumbent Bruce Rauner. […]
Biss’ spokesman called the endorsement “disappointing.” The campaign of a third candidate who backs the group’s policy goals, Chris Kennedy, did not immediately have a comment.
* Biss’ spokesman vented on Facebook…
As a queer person who served on the Equality Illinois PAC Board and have supported the organization since the day I moved to Chicago, I am sorely disappointed by their decision to endorse JB Pritzker.
Daniel Biss and Litesa Wallace have been champions of LGBTQ Equality bills in Springfield, including the bill to legalize same-sex marriage, the bill banning conversion therapy for minors, the bill banning the “gay/trans panic” defense, the birth certificate modernization bill, the bill to guarantee PrEP for Medicaid recipients, a Foster Children’s Bill of Rights, a bill to reduce youth homelessness, the TRUST Act, and the Equal Rights Amendment.
But Equality Illinois chose to endorse JB Pritzker, saying his support of the LGBTQ community is “unprecedented” because he held a gay marriage in his home 25 years ago, marched in gay pride parades, and donated $45,000 to the group in the past three years.
This endorsement suggests that my beloved #LGBTQ rights organization cares more about making their donors happy than supporting the lawmakers who carry their bills.
There’s no reason they couldn’t have endorsed both Daniel and JB… and that question still remains unanswered.