I was in Chicago today to interview Rick Garcia from Equality Illinois. We talked about the climate for LGBT folks in the prairie state. Equality Illinois has been able to defeat the anti-gay marriage amendment every time it comes up in the legislature. The pro-discrimination folks have been trying to pass an amendment since 1996.
Chicago is a very progressive city and a great place for LGBT folks. The state of Illinois also protects gays and lesbians from workplace discrimination. Equality Illinois is currently working on a bill that would give same-sex couples relationship recognition.
Since we were in Chicago, I took the opportunity to ask Rick how he felt about President Obama’s handling of LGBT rights on a federal level. Rick knows Barack Obama personally. He worked with him on LGBT legislation when Obama was in the state legislature. Rick believes that the president really does care about equality for LGBT folks and has all the right intentions. Yet he has surrounded himself with advisors who still believe that being pro-LGBT is a dangerous political move and that he should be hesitant.
Rick told me that while he supports president Obama, we must also keep pushing him to do the right thing. We can support the president and demand our rights at the same time. We must call Obama out when he is wrong and hold him to his promise of full equality for all.
After the interview I hung out in Chicago’s Boystown for a while. I like this city.
Again, I’m trying to post a video clip of the interview, but my computer is not feeling it. You can help out the Driving Equality project by donating to the New Computer Fund. I need to raise $1700 more to purchase the computer. This computer will be used to edit the final documentary.