On the same day that President Trump rolled back rights for transgender Americans last week, two new civil rights advances for LGBTQ Illinoisans became law. One week earlier, a third new LGBTQ-affirming policy became law in Illinois.
This is a huge achievement. Continuing an Illinois tradition of bipartisan support for LGBTQ rights by the legislature and the governor, Illinois continues to move forward while the federal government reverses course and Donald Trump is going against the tide of history. These bills improve the lives of LGBTQ Illinoisans, and having them signed into law also improves the social and political fabric for everyone in the state. Working together, we can achieve great things.
Equality Illinois’ full-time lobbying team, partnering with allied organizations, advocated tirelessly to move these three measures through the legislative process to the governor’s desk with bipartisan support:
- House Bill 1785 modernizes the Illinois Vital Records Act, allowing transgender and intersex individuals to change the gender marker on their birth certificates without undergoing gender reassignment surgery.
- Senate Bill 1670 encourages the appointment of LGBTQ Illinoisans to state boards and commissions and develops LGBTQ Illinoisans for public service.
- Senate Bill 1761 ends the LGBTQ panic defense so criminal defendants who kill LGBTQ people can no longer be acquitted by claiming that they were provoked by a fear of the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. This bill passed unanimously in both Houses of the General Assembly.
These bipartisan victories were built by Illinoisans like you who sent thousands of messages to legislators and Gov. Rauner. Officials in the governor’s office told us that your messages were meaningful.
We are elated by these victories, but our work continues. We need your help to keep Illinois at the forefront of LGBTQ civil rights and keep Equality Illinois leading the charge for making sure there is no backsliding in the face of the headwinds coming from the current White House. Please donate today.
Until We’re All Equal,
Director of Public Policy