Chicago, IL Following visits to several queer-owned small businesses in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton reaffirmed their commitment to Illinois' LGBTQ+ community and supporting small businesses this Pride month.
"Advancing the rights of the LGBTQ+ community has been a part of my belief system since I was a young boy——my mother cared deeply about fighting for our democratic values and it's something that I feel like is in my DNA," said Pritzker. "As long as I'm governor, LGBTQ+ rights and the rights of every historically marginalized community are here to stay, and we will stop at nothing to defend these rights for the generations to come."
While the U.S. Supreme Court's leaked draft opinion shows it's poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision would also lay the groundwork for a roll-back of the most fundamental rights protected by the U.S. Constitution, including same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, and access to contraceptive services.
"As Republican extremists attempt to turn back the clock in states across this countryIllinois' dedication to our queer siblings has never been stronger," said Stratton. "Under our administration, we've expanded the K-12 curriculum so that students learn about the contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals who've positively impacted our state, and the policy additions we've made to the Human Rights Act make Illinois a model for the nation. No matter what happens, we will never waver in our commitment to ensure that Illinois remains a safe and welcoming place for all."
"It was a pleasure to join Governor Pritzker, Lieutenant Governor Stratton, and State Rep. Cassidy for a tour of some of Andersonville's most inclusive local businesses alongside the ever-evolving mural for Elise Malary," said state Sen. Mike Simmons (D-7). "I look forward to working further with the Governor in expanding welcoming spaces for LGBTQ+ people across all communities."
"I was excited to show the Governor and Lt. Governor around the Andersonville Shopping district and introduce them to some of the LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who help make it one of the most dynamic small business communities in the state," said state Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-14). "It was incredibly meaningful to take a moment to pay our respects to Elise Malary and talk to some of her colleagues from the Chicago Therapy Collective at her memorial mural."