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The Equality Illinois Gala Was Both Political and a Party

There was a lot to celebrate at the annual gala, the first since Illinois began granting same-sex marriages.

Award recipient Lea DeLaria, who plays Big Boo on Orange is the New Black.   Photo: Peter Ranvestel

Yes, the Equality Illinois Gala on Saturday night was quite the political affair this year, and you can thank the forthcoming mayoral election for that—both Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challengers Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and Bob Fioretti were among those working the room at the LGBT group’s annual event. Emanuel even gave a speech–or, at least, he tried to, but due to a sore throat had to hand over talking duties to his wife partway through.

But the gala was also a party, complete with plenty of dancing and honoring of important community figures, such as the TransLife Center of Chicago House and Orange Is The New Black actress Lea DeLaria.

Here’s what else we saw when we stopped in.

Photo gallery

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