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General Assembly's LGBTQ caucus criticizes State Farm for ending support for GenderCool


State lawmakers with the LGBTQ caucus are criticizing State Farm for ending its partnership with a nonprofit organization that promotes LGBTQ education for children.

The group, GenderCool, worked with State Farm to provide books about gender equity for children ages 5 and up that State Farm agents and employees could distribute to teachers, libraries and community centers. But after facing a conservative backlash over the partnership, State Farm last week rescinded its support for GenderCool. The company said “conversations about gender and identity should happen at home with parents” and that it no longer supports “the program allowing for distribution of books in schools.”

In response, five lawmakers with the General Assembly’s LGBTQ Caucus and the group Equality Illinois issued a statement saying they were disappointed that State Farm “chose to make a knee- jerk concession to bigotry rather than stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ community and our allies who support inclusion.”

“Given the rise of hate crimes and discrimination, decisions like this embolden those peddling hatred and make our society a more dangerous place,” they wrote.

The caucus said State Farm’s decision was in “direct contradiction to (its) purported values.” They called on State Farm to reverse itself. If it doesn’t, the lawmakers wrote, they will be “compelled to call out State Farm’s hypocrisy, including, but not limited to, any LGBTQ marketing State Farm plans on doing during Pride month,” which is June.

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Ryan Denham is the content director for WGLT and WCBU.
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