Lisa Madigan transgender brief

Equality Illinois Applauds Attorney General Lisa Madigan
for brief supporting transgender Illinoisans

CHICAGO (July 27, 2016)–Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan today joined 12 other attorneys general throughout the U.S. in support of the Obama Administration’s policies that advance the equal treatment and protection of transgender Americans in workplaces and schools, a move applauded by Equality Illinois.

“Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is standing firm for the equal rights of transgender Illinoisans, especially students. In signing this bold brief in support of the Obama Administration’s trans-inclusive policies, Attorney General Madigan’s position is rooted in the best traditions of the Land of Lincoln,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.

Since 2006, Illinois has protected transgender Illinoisans from the very real and pervasive discrimination that they face every day in life. According to a 2011 national survey of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, 78 percent report harassment in K-12 education, and 90 percent are discriminated against in the workplace.

Yet, throughout the country and in places like Palatine, opponents of LGBT equality and inclusion claim that public safety and privacy are threatened by allowing transgender people, and students in particular, to live authentic lives. “These claims are false and myths. And our decade of civil rights protections in Illinois bear that out,” Johnson said.

Two groups of states are challenging the Obama Administration’s legal interpretation that existing federal civil rights laws protect transgender Americans from discrimination, especially recent Department of Education guidelines recommending that schools let transgender students use the facilities that are congruent with their gender identity.

In reply, 12 states, including Illinois, and the District of Columbia–most, like Illinois, with their own protections that ban anti-transgender discrimination–today filed a brief in support of the policies.

“The States that file this brief—Washington, New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, and the District of Columbia (the Amici States)—do so because our shared experience demonstrates that protecting transgender individuals from discrimination benefits all members of the public. And contrary to Plaintiffs’ claims, our shared experience demonstrates that protecting the civil rights of our transgender friends, relatives, classmates, and colleagues creates no public safety threat and imposes no meaningful financial burden,” the filing says.

Read the full brief here:

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