information provided by the Office of the Governor
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (July 1, 2020) – “Thanks to the tireless help of advocates and allies throughout the state, Illinois is becoming a beacon of equality and hope for the national LGBTQ community,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “While we have so much to celebrate, we must recognize that we have much more to accomplish. We must end the attacks of hate against non-cisgender people, particularly trans women of color. We must end the discrimination that permeates our workplaces and bullying in our schools. We must end the HIV epidemic that rages on in our Black, Latinx, and transgender communities. I and my entire administration stand with the LGBTQ community in both the celebration of hard-fought victories and also in the continuing fight for justice and equity.”
In a proclamation recognizing June 2020 as Pride Month in Illinois, Gov. Pritzker paid homage to the LGBTQ rights movements founding by transgender women of color like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.
Illinois has long been a leader in advancing and affirming LGBTQ rights. The first Pride Parade took place in Chicago in 1970, one year after Stonewall. The following year, marches took place across the nation.
In 2011, civil unions and adoption rights were secured for LGBTQ people. In 2013, marriage equality was passed and signed into law. In 2016, conversion therapy and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity were banned in Illinois.
In the last year and a half, the Pritzker administration has taken steps to protect and codify the rights of LGBTQ residents in Illinois, including:
- In April 2019, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services announced that Medicaid would now cover gender-affirming surgery.
- Executive Order 2019-11 was signed, requiring the Illinois State Board of Education to develop gender-inclusive policies to strengthen Illinois’ commitment to affirming and inclusive schools. The final report of the task force was published January 2020.
- HB 246 was signed, which brought inclusive curriculum into Illinois schools to ensure that all students learn about the contributions of the LGBTQ community and to give LGBTQ students role models reflected in our history books.
- SB 556 was signed, requiring all single occupancy restrooms be designated as gender-neutral.
- HB 2252 was signed, which replaced gendered language in Illinois statutes referring to County Clerks with gender-neutral language.
- SB 1319 was signed, which amended the Illinois Act on Aging to add LGBTQ and HIV status to the definition of communities of “greatest social need” in order to increase protections for older LGBTQ adults and people living with HIV in assisted living and shared housing facilities. Illinois is the first to include HIV status and only the third to include LGBTQ status into these protections.
- SB 75 was signed, which provided protections to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace and protect victims who come forward.
- HB 557 was signed, which allowed Federally Qualified Health Centers to perform medical forensic exams during the COVID-19 state of emergency and 90 days after the end of the declaration to give sexual assault survivors more options for where to receive care and treatment.
The Governor’s Pride Month proclamation can be viewed and downloaded here (PDF).
A video celebrating the progress made in Illinois is viewable below: