At the town hall meeting on April 19, I voiced the following to our absent Representative Shimkus. I am the current president of PFLAG Charleston, a local chapter of a national organization that supports equality for LGBTQ folks. Although our laws in Illinois have been largely helpful in protecting the rights of LGBTQ citizens (Congressman Shimkus’ voting record not withstanding), our LGBTQ students continue to be at risk due to school bullying and oppression in society in general. We are especially concerned that some school districts (particularly in small rural areas of Central IL) are or may be developing restroom and locker room policies that stigmatize and isolate transgender students. Mr. Shimkus, what will you do to work toward equality for LGBTQ persons and in particular to support the rights of our transgender students and ensure their safety and success in schools? I wish that Rep. Shimkus had been present to respond to this important issue.
Donna Turner Hudson, Charleston