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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Equality Illinois Plans To Open First Downstate Office By Fall

Equality Illinois

Illinois's oldest advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights plans to open its first downstate office in the fall.

The announcement was made at a recent meeting in Springfield, where politicians and members of the public discussed how to advance policies and research for LGBTQ+ people.

Bernard Cherkasov heads the group Equality Illinois. He says the new office will be located in the state's capital and have one full-time staff member.

Cherkasov says it's important to provide more resources for those who live in other areas. Things like “trainings for TSA agents on processing of transgender passengers through airport security. Or trainings for sheriff's cadets,” he said.

Cherkasov says it will help provide more training and resources for those outside of Chicago.

“We haven't been able to do them all over the state because physically we are located in Chicago,” Cherkasov said. “So now, planting another flag in the heart of our state - in our state's capitol.”

The office will coordinate programming and educational outreach.