Archive for the ‘Transgender’ Category


House Committee Passes Birth Certificate Bill

March 15, 2017

The bill to modernize the Illinois birth certificate law passed the Illinois House Human Services Committee Wednesday morning by a 7-4 vote.

Thank you to Rep. Greg Harris, and Equality Illinois’ coalition partners the ACLU of Illinois, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Howard Brown Health, and Lambda Legal.

And a special thank you to the amazing and brave witnesses for sharing their experiences with the committee. The bill will help transgender and gender non-conforming Illinoisans have correct birth certificates,

Call your state representative today and tell them to support HB 1785.



Equality Illinois, other LGBTQ champions, respond to Trump transgender student policy

February 23, 2017

Illinois organizations fighting for the civil rights of LGBTQ Illinoisans respond at a news conference to President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind Department of Education and Department of Justice guidance clarifying the civil rights of transgender students. Groups speaking include Equality Illinois, Lambda Legal – Midwest Regional Office, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance and ACLU of Illinois. (Speakers begin at about 5:45 mark.)

“To our transgender youth throughout the state of Illinois, we want you to know on behalf of all of our stakeholders at Equality Illinois, our champions, and our allies, you are beautiful, you are brave, and you are strong. We honor you and we see you. We will fight for you and support you wherever we can,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.


Equality Illinois Condemns Trump Administration’s Anti-Transgender Policy

February 22, 2017

Equality Illinois condemns the decision of the Trump administration to tear up the 2016 federal guidance protecting the civil rights and equal treatment of transgender youth in our public schools.

“We are outraged the Trump Administration would choose to target transgender children for discrimination. Rescinding the guidance letter sends a terrible message and invites personal bias to flourish in our public schools,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.

Equality Illinois reminds Illinois school districts that they should not feel free to adopt discriminatory policies despite the federal action. Title IX of the federal education law still protects transgender students, as most courts have agreed, and Illinois law prohibits discrimination in public places.



Equality Illinois Urges Congress to Protect Transgender Students

February 22, 2017

With the Trump administration reportedly poised to act against transgender students, Equality Illinois is calling on Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Tammy Duckworth and Illinois House members to stand against discrimination in our schools.

In a letter sent to the state’s congressional delegation, Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson says that the proposed rescinding of the federal guidance that transgender students should be treated the same as fellow students “sends a terrible message and invites personal bias to flourish” in our schools.

Members of Congress should demand that the 2016 policy of fairness and equality remain in force, Johnson says.



New Birth Certificate Law Would Aid Transgender Illinoisans

February 1, 2017

State Rep. Greg Harris has introduced legislation to modernize the state’s birth certificate law to allow transgender Illinoisans to correct the gender marker on their birth certificate without surgery.

Consistent with modern medical standards, the bill recognizes that people who are transgender and intersex should make their own decisions about the most appropriate course of treatment for their transition.

Ask your state representative to support House Bill 1785. The bill is supported by the ACLU of Illinois, Lambda Legal, Howard Brown Health, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, and Illinois Safe Schools Alliance.


All Students Should Be Affirmed

January 29, 2017

A statewide coalition of organizations that work with LGBTQ Illinoisans is calling on the Illinois General Assembly to reject discriminatory legislation that would isolate and stigmatize transgender and gender non-conforming youth by forcing them to use separate restrooms and locker rooms from their peers in schools.

House Bill 664 is sponsored by State Rep. Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) and is similar to a bill he introduced in the previous session of the General Assembly.

We are resolved that Illinois will stand firm for treating transgender and gender non-conforming students with dignity and ensuring that our schools are affirming environments that respect all students.



Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20, 2016

tdor-300x251This Sunday we pause for the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

We memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The day is also a statement that we as a community must recommit ourselves to the fight against transphobia.

The disheartening list of people who lost their lives in 2016 can be found here.

There are memorial events scheduled today in Chicago, Rockford, Peoria and Hinsdale and Monday in Evanston.



Atty. Gen. Madigan Joins Brief Supporting Transgender Illinoisans

July 27, 2016

lisa madigan-1Illinois 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.



New Law Clinic Will Assist Transgender Illinoisans

June 30, 2016

Gender Law Clinic memeEquality Illinois and The John Marshall Law School are launching a Gender Marker and Name Change Legal Project to help people work through the maze of county, state and federal government offices, their forms and the fees they must navigate to live their true gender identity. The program will be assisted by the Seyfarth Shaw law firm.

Among the legal changes that might be needed by a transgender or gender non-conforming person are a court-sanctioned name change, as well as making a name and gender marker correction on a state driver’s license or ID, birth certificate, Social Security card and passport and adjusting Selective Service registration.

A transgender or gender non-conforming person may face humiliation, discrimination and harassment if their core identification documents are not corrected to reflect their gender identity.



Chicago City Council Stands Up for Transgender People

June 22, 2016

Victory Equal Access Ordinance V2The Chicago City Council stood up for the rights of transgender people Wednesday when it passed the Equal Access Ordinance, a measure supported by Equality Illinois that will ensure equal access consistent with a person’s gender identity in places of public accommodations in Chicago.

The ordinance passed the 50-person council on a vote of 45-5, and it has the support of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“You should not have to prove your gender identity to use a bathroom in a restaurant, hotel or store. The existing law has the effect of humiliating transgender and gender non-conforming people, many of whom have been unable to correct the gender markers on their IDs. Chicago’s current law is fundamentally unfair,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.



Chicago Leaders Protect Transgender Access to Facilities

May 19, 2016

Chicago bathroom protectionsA 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 Wednesday by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Council’s LGBT caucus at the recommendation of Chicago Human Rights Commissioner Mona Noriega.

This is about basic human dignity and treating people with respect. The simple human need to use the restroom should not be questioned.



Gov. Rauner, Legislators Meet with Transgender Advocates

April 17, 2016
Gov. Rauner meets with transgender student Finn DeLima

Gov. Rauner meets with transgender student Finn DeLima

Advocates from Equality Illinois and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago–including a transgender university student and the mother of a transgender child–met with Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislators in Springfield to advance a pro-LGBT equality agenda during the spring session of the General Assembly.

In a meeting in the Governor’s Office arranged by Equality Illinois, the advocates urged the governor to support a bill to modernize birth certificate changes for transgender Illinoisans (HB 6073), to oppose a second measure that would stigmatize and discriminate against transgender students (HB 4474), and to adopt a responsible budget that protects vital services for Illinoisans.



Transgender Students in Illinois Are Under Attack

January 20, 2016

HB 4474HB4474, introduced by Rep. Tom Morrison, would stigmatize transgender and gender non-conforming youth by requiring them to use separate restrooms and locker rooms.

This bill is an attack on the well-being and dignity of transgender and gender non-conforming students. It says to them that they are not respected and valued in the very spaces where they should be safe and affirmed.

The only fair option is to ensure transgender students have access to the facilities that correspond to their gender identity. If a district chooses to add privacy areas or gender neutral bathrooms, all students should be able to decide for themselves to use them and no one should be singled out because of gender identity.



Equality Illinois Supports Transgender Student

December 8, 2015

Transgender student memeThe legal situation in Township High School District 211 regarding a transgender student’s equal right to access the school locker room that corresponds to her gender identity offers an opportunity for awareness and education about transgender people and the significant challenges and discrimination they encounter in life.

The school district said it would allow the transgender student access to the girls locker room because she has represented that she will change in curtained changing stations. The district had initially proposed requiring the transgender student to use curtained privacy areas while allowing the other female students the option to use such spaces. We know from American history that separate is not equal.

The only fair and equal option is to ensure transgender students have access, without conditions, to the locker room that corresponds to their gender identity. To do otherwise would send the message to transgender students that they are not respected and valued by the very administrators who are responsible for fostering a safe and welcoming space for learning and development.



Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20, 2015

Transgender Day of Remembrance-1

Equality Illinois joins in remembering the transgender men and women murdered in the U.S. and around the world simply for being their true selves.

On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, there are events in Chicago, the suburbs, and throughout Illinois. Find them here, as well as a link to the list of names of the people we are remembering today.



Transitioning from Good to Great

July 13, 2015

CSr-transgenderWe see transgender equality issues more and more in the spotlight…but what does that mean for you?

Join us this Wednesday morning, when we will discuss the current state of protections for ‪transgender‬ individuals under federal and state law, and how this may affect your workplace policies, benefits, and rights.

This session is part of a series, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP, which will cover a wide range of topics concerning LGBT diversity and inclusion, human resources, employee benefits, government relations, and related policies. For interested lawyers/attorneys, CLE credit has been requested and dial-in will be available!

The session is FREE, but registration is required.



Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20, 2014

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2014

Today, we pause on the Transgender Day of Remembrance to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of transphobia and bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.

There are memorial events today and through the weekend in Bloomington, Brighton, Chicago, Joliet, Palatine, Peoria, Rockford, and Springfield. Find an event at the link below. #TDOR



EQIL Transgender Community Social

April 23, 2014

Transgender Social May 2014 4 webPlease join Equality Illinois for a day of socializing with friends old and new, dining on delicious light bites, and sipping cocktails at the elegant Mayne Stage Theatre, 1328 W. Morse Avenue, Chicago.

When: Sunday, May 4 from 3 to 6 pm

The suggested event donation is $10, and there will be a cash bar and raffle prizes also available.