New LGBT Hate Crimes Bill Passes

Enhanced LGBT Hate Crimes Protections Sent to Gov. Rauner
Unanimous Senate vote sends first LGBT bill to new governor

SPRINGFIELD (May 20, 2015) – The Illinois Senate on Wednesday unanimously gave final approval to a bill enhancing hate crimes protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans. Last month, the measure, House Bill 3930, passed the Illinois House of Representatives without opposition. Now, the bill goes to Gov. Bruce Rauner for his review and approval.

“This is the first of what we expect will be a series of bills to reach the governor’s desk to improve the lives of LGBT Illinoisans. Equality Illinois has held discussions with the governor and his staff about this important agenda, and we are hopeful that he will sign these bills into law,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest and largest LGBT advocacy organization.

“We applaud and thank the Illinois General Assembly for unanimously approving this legislation which ensures explicit hate crimes protections for transgender Illinoisans and adds LGBT community centers to those facilities protected from institutional vandalism,” Cherkasov said.

“We thank state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, state Rep. Sam Yingling, and state Sen. Daniel Biss, the measure’s chief sponsors, for their leadership and commitment to the equality and safety of all Illinoisans,” Cherkasov said. “We believe Gov. Rauner should sign this legislation so all Illinoisans can feel safe being who they are.”

Authored by Equality Illinois, House Bill 3930 ensures transgender Illinoisans are explicitly covered by the state’s hate crimes law and adds LGBT community centers to the list of facilities protected from hate-based institutional vandalism.

HB 3930 is one of the many bills that Equality Illinois is advocating for this legislative session in Springfield. Equality Illinois is advocating for a bill to protect LGBT youth from harmful conversion therapy, which passed the Illinois House yesterday and is awaiting action in the Senate. A bill to ensure respect for the funeral and burial instructions of transgender Illinoisans has also passed the House and is expected to be considered in the Senate soon. Equality Illinois also supports a state budget that protects vital services for Illinois families, youth, workers, seniors, immigrants, and other groups.

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