2021 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
Equality Illinois is working to advance the following legislative initiative during the 2021 session of the Illinois General Assembly.
Keeping Youth Safe and Healthy Act
The Keeping Youth Safe and Healthy Act would require all public schools to provide age appropriate, inclusive, and comprehensive personal health and safety education in grades K-5 and age-appropriate, inclusive, and comprehensive sexual health education in grades 6-12. This information is essential for students to make informed decisions about their personal health and safety and to lead healthy and safe lives.
Take action with our partner Planned Parenthood Illinois Action:
Email Your State Legislator to support the Keeping Youth Safe and Healthy Act (weareplannedparenthoodaction.org)
Birth certificate modernization
Permits self-attestation in order to correct the gender marker on a birth certificate (removing the requirement for a healthcare provider’s note).
Repeals the HIV criminalization law. An initiative of the Illinois HIV Action Alliance. Learn more by clicking HERE.
Demographic data collection
Requires ten state agencies to expand demographic data collection (including sexual orientation and gender identity) on participants in state programs. An initiative of a task force that includes Howard Brown Health, AIDS Foundation Chicago, Pride Action Tank, SAGE, Center on Halsted, Northwestern University's Evaluation, Data Integration, and Technical Assistance Program, and Equality Illinois
Modernizing name change law for political candidates
Allows trans folks to run for elected office without having to publish their former legal names on petitions and on the ballot.
Allowing gender-inclusive multi-occupancy restrooms
HB 3195 and SB 457
Allows public and private entities to implement gender-inclusive multi-occupancy restrooms if they want. Sets conditions. An initiative of Justin Sia and Equality Illinois.
Charting inclusive corporate board leadership
Requires corporations in Illinois to annually report out on the data for the self-identified sexual orientation and gender identity of the members of their boards of directors.
Standardizing name changes on marriage certificates
Creates a uniform standard that county clerks must adhere to for name changes on marriage certificates. An initiative of Equality Illinois and Chicago House and Social Service Agency.
Below are measures that are not Equality Illinois bills, but we support.
HB 1290 would restore state veterans benefits to individuals who received other than honorable or general discharges because of their LGBTQ+ status. We thank Rep. Joyce Mason for her leadership. The bill passed the Illinois House 104-7. Sen. Tom Cullerton is the sponsor in the Illinois Senate.
HB 2542 would bring our state’s overly-restrictive name change law in line with the majority of other states and help transgender and gender-expansive individuals and survivors of human trafficking to live safer and more authentic lives by removing the ten-year waiting period and the lifetime ban. The bill is led by trans advocates, the ACLU of Illinois, Chicago House and Social Service Agency, the Transformative Justice Law Project, and the Chicago Bar Foundation. We thank Rep. Kelly Cassidy for her leadership. The bill passed the Illinois House 85-27. Sen. Robert Peters is sponsoring the bill in the Illinois Senate.
HB 3709 updates the state’s existing infertility insurance law to be inclusive of LGBTQ+ families and single parents and reduce the wait time for women over 35. The bill passed the Illinois House 68-43. We thank Rep. Margaret Croke for her leadership. In the Senate, the bill is sponsored by Sen. Laura Fine.
SB 139 passed the Illinois Senate with a bipartisan vote of 44-13. This legislation establishes a process for individuals to correct the gendered language on their marriage certificates. We thank Sen. Feigenholtz for her leadership. In the Illinois House, the bill will be championed by Rep. Ann Williams.