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- Governor Pat Quinn on Wednesday put his signature on a historic measure making Illinois the 16th state to allow same-sex marriage, capping a 40-year push for gay rights that picked up major momentum during the past decade.
Playing master of ceremonies during an hourlong event, the Governor slowly signed the bill with 100 pens that quickly became souvenirs. He did so at a desk shipped from Springfield that the administration said President Abraham Lincoln used to write his first inaugural address in 1861 - a speech on the cusp of the Civil War that called on Americans to heed "the better angels of our natue."
"In the very beginning of the Gettsburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln of Illinois said that our nation was conceived in liberty. And he said it's dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, and that's really what we're celebrating today," he said. "It's a triumph of democracy."
Attending the ceremony: Pictured above (from L to R) IDHR Chief Legal Counsel - Lon Meltesen, Deputy Director - Bobbie Wanzo, Director - Rocco Claps, and Chief, Legislative & Intergovernmental Affairs - Hector Villagrana.
(November 20, 2013)
- Look for IDHR's fair housing poster on CTA buses and trains during the month of November. See it in English, Spanish, Polish or Chinese.
(November 15, 2013)
Fourteen individuals and two organizations will be inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, the country's only known government-sponsored hall of fame that honors members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities.
The chosen nominees will be inducted at the Hall of Fame's annual ceremony, which will take place from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12, at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 North Clark Street, Chicago. A reception begins at 5:30pm, and the program is scheduled for 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Hall of fame inductees fall into one of three categories: "individual," "organization," or "friend of the community." Nominees represent all of Chicago's sexual-minority communities, including LGBT Chicagoans, past, present, living, and dead, as well as those who have supported or assisted them.
Among those honored in 2013 is Rocco J. Claps, Director, Illinois Department of Human Rights.
Rocco J. Claps (pictured left), for public service in political and government roles as an openly gay man and for advancing LGBT rights goals. He began on Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan's staff in 1987, worked in federal and Democratic National Committee positions during the Clinton administration, and since 2003 has been Director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights.
Beginning with the first ceremony in 1991, Mayor Richard M. Daley personally participated in the Hall of Fame's induction ceremonies. Current Mayor Rahm Emanuel has continued to do so.
The Hall of Fame's purpose is to recognize the achievements of LGBT Chicagoans, their contributions to the development of the city, and the help they have received from others. In 2013, it holds its 23rd annual induction ceremony and continues to represent an official recognition by Chicago's government of the city's LGBT residents and their allies.
(November 12, 2013)
- Reserve your seat today for Arrest Records as Barriers to Employment, a Midwest summit for attorneys, policy makers, workforce development and employment agencies, human resource personnel, business groups, community organizations, community leaders and residents.
(October 28, 2013)
- Illinois Department of Human Rights Collaborates on Outreach with Illinois NAACP
Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) Director Rocco Claps today announced collaborative outreach efforts on statewide human and civil rights issues with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Illiniois Conference of Branches.
Claps and NAACP Illinois Conference of Branches President George P. Mitchell announced that IDHR staff will be contacting NAACP branch presidents to discuss partnering on a variety of issues, including protection from employment discrimination, and protection from discrimination in accessing public accommodations and real estate transactions. Partnering will be tailored to local needs, concerns and issues beneficial to mutual constituents.
Pictured in the photo from left to right: (NAACP Illinois Conference of Branches President George P. Mitchell, Deputy Chief of Staff/Office of the Governor, Samantha Fields, and Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) Director Rocco Claps). To view more photos of the event, visit Harvey Tillis Art & Stock Photography.
(October 2, 2013)
- 35th Anniversary of Peace Day
Friday September 20, 2013 Noon to 1 pm
Daley Plaza, 50 West Washington Street, Chicago
Chicago pioneered the celebration of Peace Day and serves as a model for cities throughout the world. Four years before the United nations established the International Day of Peace, Chicago designated an official Peacy Day on September 7, 1978. Chicago is the only major city in the world with a 30+ year history of peacebuilding through annual Peace Day events, and is an official United Nations Peace Messenger city. The Peace School, the founding organization of Peace Day in Chicago, is a U.N. Peace Messenger organization.
Honorary Chair: Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Honorary Co-Chairs: Rocco J. Claps, Director, Illinois Department of Human Rights, (pictured right); Jesus G. Garcia, Cook County Commissioner 7th District; Cheryl Human, Chancellor, City College of Chicago; Patricia Maza-Pittsford, consul General of El Salvador and Dean of the Chicago Consular Corps; Charles R. Middleton PhD, President, Roosevelt University; Mona Noriega, Commissioner, Chicago Commission on Human Relations.
(September 20, 2013)
- Governor Quinn calls on House to Pass Marriage Equality Bill.