Tracking LGBT Equality in Illinois
Click on the tabs on the left to learn more about each area in more detail.
- The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment. 775 ILCS 5/1-102 (2005)
- Cook County and the cities of Bloomington, Chicago, Decatur, DeKalb, Peoria, and Springfield have also passed non-discrimination ordinances.
- At the federal level, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009 (ENDA) is pending in Congress. If ENDA is enacted, it would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment nationwide.
- Illinois hate crimes law explicitly covers actual or perceived sexual orientation. 720 ILCS 5/12-7.1 (2001)
- Illinois hate crimes law addresses actual or perceived gender; however, the law does not explicitly address gender identity based violence. 720 ILCS 5/12-7.1 (2001)
- At the federal level, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This act expands the 1969 federal hate crimes law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. 18 USC 249
- The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in housing and public accommodations. 775 ILCS 5/1-102 (2005)
- Illinois law allows single LGBT individuals to adopt. Illinois law states that "a reputable person of legal age and of either sex" may petition to adopt. 750 ILL. COMP. STAT. 50/2
- Same-sex couples may jointly petition to adopt. A same-sex co-parent may also petition to adopt a partner's child. 653 N.E.2d 888 (Ill. App. Ct. 1995)
Youth and Safe Schools
- The Illinois General recently passed the Anti-Bullying Bill, which was signed into law on June, 27th 2010--Pride Sunday. The act explicitly prohibits bullying based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity along with other important personal characteristics.
- The State Registrar of Vital Records will issue a new birth certificate upon receipt of a physician's affidavit verifying the birth registrant has undergone sex reassignment surgery. 410 ILCS 535/17 (2007)
- The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, Senate Bill 1716, was approved by the Illinois House on December 1, 2010 and by the Illinois Senate on December 2, 2010. The Act extends state-law protections and responsibilities currently limited to married couples to all committed couples in Illinois, including same-sex couples.
- The Act expressly protects religious institutions from any interference from this law. The Act states: "Nothing in this Act shall interfere with or regulate the religious practice of any religious body. Any religious body, Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group is free to choose whether or not to solemnize or officiate a civil union." Every religious tradition can decide for itself whether or not to officiate at civil unions ceremonies.
- Governor Quinn has pledged to sign the Act. The civil union legislation will go into effect in summer 2011.
ON THE HORIZON:
- Illinois law prohibits marriage between two individuals of the same-sex. 750 ILCS 5/212 (2006).
- The The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act is pending in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly. The Act would permit same-sex couples to marry and guarantee them the rights granted under civil marriage. The Act would not regulate religious practice of any religious body.
- At the federal level, The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), enacted in 1996, states that only heterosexual marriages will be recognized by the federal government. Thus, even in states where gay couples can wed, the spouses cannot utilize federal tax benefits, social security survivor benefits, or family medical leave protections. DOMA also permits states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Legal scholars argue that this provision of DOMA violates the "Full Faith and Credit" Clause of the United States Constitution.