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Illinois Moves Toward Gender Inclusivity as Other States Move Away

Illinois bills that would update existing laws to be more gender inclusive and add protections for LGBTQ marriages are ready for action by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who said he will sign them.

The trio of state bills passed last week are meant to move the state in the “opposite direction” of those restricting LGBTQ youth, said Sen. Mike Simmons, the bills’ sponsor and the first and only current “out” LGBTQ lawmaker in the Illinois Senate.

Illinois is one of several U.S. states that have moved to counteract a surge of anti-LGBTQ legislation in mostly Republican-led states.

On the same day just a few hours away, Indiana’s governor signed a bill that will require schools to notify a parent if a student requests a name or pronoun change at school, one of several bills this legislative session targeting LGBTQ people in the state.

Illinois’ neighbors to the west, Missouri and Iowa, have gone in a similar direction by restricting gender-affirming care and the bathrooms transgender students can use.

The Illinois Democratic supermajority passed the bills out of the Senate on Thursday, and the measures now await Pritzker’s signature.

“The Governor is proud to support legislation that creates a more welcoming, affirming, and inclusive Illinois,” said spokesperson Alex Gough on Friday.

“In the face of rising violence and bigotry toward the trans, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming community, providing support and recognition for those who identify as LGBTQ+ has never been more important,” Gough said.

One bill would replace certain pronouns with the nouns to which the pronouns refer, such as “minor” instead of “he or she,” and “person who gives birth” in place of “mother” in some existing laws concerning children in the state’s care.

Before her “no” vote, Republican Caucus Whip Sen. Jil Tracy said: “I gave birth to two boys that weighed over 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms). I think I deserve more dignity that just ‘a person who gave birth.’ I’m a mother.”

The Illinois Family Institute, a Christian nonprofit, opposes all three bills.

Source : State Line