10 Days After Illinois Passed Civil Unions Bill, Equality Illinois Fires Public Policy Director Rick Garcia. He Responds: F*ck You

On Thursday last week around 5pm, a little more than a week after lawmakers passed a civil union bill, Equality Illinois fired its public policy director Rick Garcia. It sounds like Rick isn’t happy! When he went into EI chief Bernard Cherkasov’s office for a regular meeting, Cherkasov told him, “Your services are no longer needed and we are terminating you now.” Garcia says he replied: “Fuck you.” He then refused to leave, and was escorted from the office by police.

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  • Pitou

    This is what HRC’s major donors needs to do to the board AND Joey Baby!
    These groups can’t possibly think that they’ll still have a job when they achieve what they set out to do..???
    LoveMakesAFamily in CT did the same thing once we got marriage equality.. it happens folks.

    You complete your task, you are no longer needed!

    In the case of HRC, you can’t seem to finish your tasks, then “Step the fuck aside, you useless pieces of shit!”

  • William

    A) This is not the HRC, this is Equality Illinois, a different organization.
    B) The Civil Union Bill was not the end of the mission of Equality Illinois, is was just another of many policy victories that the organization achieved under Rick’s leadership.
    C) Equality Illinois is working toward employment non-discrimination, mayoral advocacy, the Schools (In)Equality Project, equality and non-discrimiation protection for LGBTQ seniors, securing health care access and medically accurate government documents for transgender persons in the state of Illinois and the nation.
    D) Rick Garcia was a co-founder of the organization 20 years ago and has been the most visible face of the organization. 2 months before the organization celebrates is 20th anniversary and the victory in the statehouse on the civil unions bill, this is not the way to launch your organization is not the next decade and show your dedication to the defense of the LGBTQ community.

  • kelpy

    4) Rick Garcia is also a pompous d-bag who goes out of his way to start trouble and acts out for attention. :/

    Glad he’s gone.

  • Allen

    This was a hit by Gill Action. They promised Equality Illinois $100,000 and more to come in exchange for Rick’s ouster. Rick speaks his mind and Gill likes to neuter or eliminate leaders they don’t deem sufficiently compliant. Rick isn’t the only one they’ve taken down. Gill folks likes to keep their hands clean but I’ve been in the inner sanctum and I know how they operate. If they can’t leash a leader, they will work on his board and dangle money or sew dissension until staying is untenable. Most leaders get worn down and move on. I’m glad to know Rick Garcia is fighting back. It is a dangerous thing to have unaccountable billionaires strong arming the movement. Thanks for all you’ve done for our state Rick. This is a one heck of a thank you.

  • Paul in Canada

    Ah, the joys of Gay, Inc.!

  • AC

    Because of the possibility of litigation, board members and Cherkasov unfortunately haven’t been able to speak out in their own defense — leaving us with only Garcia’s side of the story.

    Don’t jump to negative, anti-EqIL conclusions so quickly. I’ve been on the same side as the board and Cherkasov in similar situations, and in those situations, your hands are tied. You might’ve had all the reasons in the world to terminate someone, get rid of a volunteer or remove a board member, but can’t say anything in your defense.

    And to Allen: I’ve worked for national and local LGBT orgs for years, both in development as a staff member and on boards, and am probably just as familiar with large funders such as Gill, Gill Action and Arcus as you are. While I occasionally disagree with Gill’s management and political tactics, (a) I doubt they would do something so brazen as dangle $100k in exchange for Garcia and (b) even if they did in fact do that, they might’ve had really good reason to be displeased with Garcia (potentially the same reasons the board and Cherkasov had).

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