SPRINGFIELD - “Thanks to the tireless help of advocates and allies throughout the state, Illinois is becoming a beacon of equality and hope for the national LGBTQ community,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “While we have so much to celebrate, we must recognize that we have much more to accomplish. We must end the attacks of hate against non-cisgender people, particularly trans women of color. We must end the discrimination that permeates our workplaces and bullying in our schools. We must end the HIV epidemic that rages on in our Black, Latinx and transgender communities. I and my entire administration stand with the LGBTQ community in both the celebration of hard-fought victories and also in the continuing fight for justice and equity.”
In a proclamation recognizing June 2020 as Pride Month in Illinois, Gov. Pritzker paid homage to the LGBTQ rights movements founding by transgender women of color like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.
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While the road to full equality continues to be paved, Illinois has long been a leader in advancing and affirming LGBTQ rights. The first Pride Parade took place in Chicago in 1970, one year after Stonewall. The following year, marches took place across the nation.
In 2011, civil unions and adoption rights were secured for LGBTQ people. In 2013, marriage equality was passed and signed into law. In 2016, conversation therapy and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity were banned in Illinois.
In the last year and a half, the Pritzker administration has taken even step to protect and codify the rights of LGBTQ residents in Illinois, including:
- In April 2019, HFS announced that Medicaid would now cover gender-affirming surgery.
- Signed Executive Order 2019-11 requiring ISBE to develop gender-inclusive policies to strengthen Illinois’ commitment to affirming and inclusive schools. The final report of the task force was published January 2020.
- The Administration’s Getting to Zero plan is accelerating Illinois’ fight against HIV by working to eliminate HIV in the state this decade.
- Signed the RISE Act which required college financial aid to be provided to transgender students who might otherwise have been denied because of the Trump Administration’s policies.
- When the Trump Administration announced rules that would remove protections for transgender in health care, state agencies stepped up to reaffirm Illinois’ protections for LGBTQ+ persons in health care.
- Signed HB 246 which brought inclusive curriculum into Illinois schools to ensure that all students learn about the contributions of the LGBTQ community and to give LGBTQ students role models reflected in our history books.
- Signed SB 556 requiring all single occupancy restrooms be designated as gender-neutral.
- Signed HB 2252 which replaced gendered language in Illinois statutes referring to County Clerks with gender-neutral language.
- Signed HB 3534 which allows those getting licenses or State IDs to register their sex as “non-binary.”
- Signed SB 1319 which amended the Illinois Act on Aging to add LGBTQ and HIV status to the definition of communities of “greatest social need” in order to increase protections for older LGBTQ adults and people living with HIV in assisted living and shared housing facilities. Illinois is the first to include HIV status and only the third to include LGBTQ status into these protections.
- Supported SR 403 which directed DCFS to conduct a performance audit of the Department’s compliance with its obligations to protect and affirm LGBTQ+ children and youth.
- Signed SB 75 which provided protections to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace and protect victims who come forward.
- Signed HB 557 which allowed Federally Qualified Health Centers to perform medical forensic exams during the COVID-19 state of emergency and 90 days after the end of the declaration to give sexual assault survivors more options for where to receive care and treatment.
- Continued to work as a Governor’s Office and Administration to lift up LGBTQ+ voices in government.
While work to achieve full equality and justice remain on a national level, Gov. Pritzker remains committed to the fight ahead and will continue to take every action to build an affirming and inclusive state.
The Governor’s Pride Month proclamation is attached. A video celebrating the progress made in Illinois is here.
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