Established in 1989, OPALGA+ is one of the largest LGBTQ+ membership organizations in Illinois. Our diverse membership includes individuals and families in Chicago’s near-west suburbs, Chicago proper and beyond. Members and non-members are welcome at our OPALGA+ events.
To promote full equality for and positive attitudes toward the LGBTQ+ community. To provide a positive community family for our members through social activities, civic engagement, and community activism.
What We Do
- Host dozens of social activities, including monthly potlucks, playdates for LGBTQ+ families, group outings to fun events, marches in local parades, OPALGA+ Scholarship Gala, and more;
- Volunteer in the local community, including at Donut Day, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and school supply collection events;
- Award scholarship funds to local high school LGBTQIA+ and allied student seniors and past award recipients;
- Advocate in local community human rights forums, rallies, and parades; and
- Educate the public by providing information on LGBTQ+ issues and resources at events like Oak Park's Day in Our Village and our Transgender education events.
What We Have Accomplished
• Provided over $170,000 in scholarships to help LGBTQIA+ students pursue higher education including $40,000 in 2023
• Helped amend Oak Park’s Human Rights Ordinance to bar employment and housing discrimination (1989)
• Helped secure Domestic Partnership Benefits for Oak Park Village employees (1994)
• Helped secure Oak Park’s Domestic Partnership Registry for same-sex couples — a first-ever achievement in Illinois, and since used as a model for other communities (1997)
• Served as a Gay Games VII sponsor and hosted events in Oak Park (2006)
• Worked to educate local school administrators to establish a Human Dignity policy for LGBTQ school employees (2009)
• Rallied locally and in Springfield for the passage of Civil Unions and Marriage Equality in Illinois (2013)
• Received numerous awards and village recognitions for community service
The Oak Park Lesbian and Gay Association:
Stories from the History Making First Decade
Click HERE to view the book.
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