Equality Illinois Commends Chicago Leaders
for Acting Against Discrimination
Proposed city ordinance protects transgender and gender non-conforming people
CHICAGO (May 18, 2016)–A Chicago ordinance designed to protect the dignity and health of transgender and gender non-conforming people will be a clear rebuke to the actions in North Carolina and other states that want to turn back the clock.
The ordinance was introduced today by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Council’s LGBT caucus at the recommendation of Chicago Human Rights Commissioner Mona Noriega.
“This ordinance will strengthen human rights protections in the city by making it clear that no one can be challenged to show a government ID to use a public accommodation,” said Mike Ziri, public policy director of Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest and largest organization advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans.
“Frankly, this is about basic human dignity and treating people with respect. The simple human need to use the restroom should not be questioned. In places where transgender people have been prohibited from using a restroom, they have experienced negative health consequences, not to mention pervasive harassment and bullying. Also, changing government IDs that match the gender identity of an individual can be daunting, expensive, and out of reach for many,” Ziri said.
“We commend Chicago officials for acting swiftly and decisively to protect all who live, work, go to school and visit the city. Strong human rights protections in Chicago and Illinois should be a lesson to other states where it is still legal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We call on the City Council to pass the ordinance without delay.