This week in response to an outcry from a hateful few, Illinois-based insurer State Farm dropped their support for The GenderCool Project, which provides LGBTQ-affirming books to schools across the country on a voluntary basis. We are disappointed State Farm chose to make a knee- jerk concession to bigotry rather than stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ community and our allies who support inclusion. Given the rise of hate crimes and discrimination, decisions like this embolden those peddling hatred and make our society a more dangerous place.
While other states push intolerance and try to roll back the clock on our hard-fought rights, Illinois has been a champion in affirming the dignity of our LGBTQ community. We have taken active steps to ensure Illinois schools teach students about the struggles and history of the LGBTQ community, as well as Black history and the history of communities of color broadly. In fact, Illinois recently became the first state to mandate teaching Asian American history.
State Farm promotes itself as 'standing in collaboration with LGBTQ organizations' to 'ensure all communities are valued and treated with respect and dignity.' This latest action to rescind support for GenderCool and the teaching of gender identity to families that want it is in direct contradiction to State Farm's purported values. Unless State Farm reverses its course of action, we will be compelled to call out State Farm's hypocrisy, including, but not limited to, any LGBTQ marketing State Farm plans on doing during Pride month.
Senator Mike Simmons
Majority Leader Greg Harris
Representative Kelly Cassidy
Representative Lamont Robinson
Representative Sam Yingling
Brian Johnson, CEO, Equality Illinois
About Equality Illinois At Equality Illinois we envision a fair and unified Illinois where everyone is treated equally with dignity and respect and where all people live freely regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. We work hard to promote legislation to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals; maintain the visibility of LGBTQ+ issues; oppose legislation which seeks to limit the civil rights of the LGBTQ+ community; and expand statewide grassroots support.