ACLU national

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Senate approved a bill legalizing marriage for same-sex couples today. The Senate approved the bill by a margin of 34-21. The bill must now be passed by the State House.

"Today we usually celebrate with flowers and chocolates. But on this historic day, Illinoisans have given their lesbian and gay friends and neighbors the gift of a lifetime – a huge step toward the freedom to marry," said John Knight, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. "The overwhelming vote in the Senate creates significant momentum moving forward to the House. We are a day closer to realizing the freedom to marry for all Illinoisans." 

Feigenholtz: House Should Follow Senate Lead, Approve Marriage Equality

CHICAGO – In response to the Senate’s approval of Senate Bill 10 to legalize same-sex marriage on Thursday, State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) released the following statement:

“Today is a monumental and historic day not only for Illinois’ LGBT community and allies, but for the future of our entire state. By voting to approve marriage equality, the Illinois Senate reaffirmed our most basic commitments to fairness, justice, and a government free of discrimination. The enormity of today’s vote cannot be overstated.

Now that the Senate has done the right thing, it’s time for the House to follow suit. There are simply no excuses left. Public opinion continues to drastically shift in support of marriage equality. One by one, states are legalizing same-sex marriage and voters are going to the polls to reject discriminatory marriage initiatives. Our President has urged us to take action. If that’s not enough, Illinois’ own 2010 civil union law has proven only that good things happen when we extend equal rights to citizens. 

I congratulate my Senate colleagues and the advocates who have fought so hard and so long for an equal Illinois. I look forward to the day – hopefully in the very, very near future – in which I get to cast my vote for equality on the House floor. It will, without a doubt, be one of the most meaningful votes I take as a legislator and will put us on the right side of history.” 

For more information, contact Feigenholtz’s constituent services office at (773) 296-4141 or

In Observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Chicago, Ill.– In observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Thursday, February 7, 2013, Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) has partnered with the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus (CBGMC) and Black Gay Pride organizers to serve as a testing and primary medical care partner to encourage the African American LGBT community to get tested and know their HIV status.

“We are proud to partner with the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus (CBGMC) and the Black Gay Pride organizers in support of this initiative,” states Karma Israelsen, interim president and CEO of Howard Brown Health Center. “African-Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, and it is imperative to provide on-going accessible educational and testing opportunities to decrease the spread of the disease within this community.”

As part of its partnership for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, HIV and STI testing will be free for all walk-in clients at HBHC’s Sheridan Road clinic located at 4025 N. Sheridan Road.  Free HIV testing will be available from 9:00 am – 8:00 pm. 

“It is important that we work together as community-based organizations and healthcare providers, to bring forth an unyielding message about the importance of getting tested and knowing your status,” said Keith Green, board chairman of CBGMC.  “We are grateful to Howard Brown Health Center for partnering with us to get the African American LGBT community to be more proactive in their health.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African Americans represent 14% of the U.S. population but account for 44% of new HIV infections.

Jesse Hinton, spokesperson for Black Pride organizers says, “The goal is of this collaboration is to ultimately create better health outcomes for the African American LGBT community.  We need and welcome the support of more health institutions such as Howard Brown Health Center to assist us in lowering HIV infections in our community.”  

For more information, please visit or call our patient service line at 773-388-1600.