Advocates urge Gov. Rauner to sign bill to help transgender Illinoisans

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – House Bill 1785, a measure to modernize Illinois law allowing people to change the gender marker on their birth certificate, passed the Senate Wednesday night 32-22. Having previously passed in the House, the bill now goes to Gov. Rauner's desk for his signature. We thank the sponsors Rep. Greg Harris and Sen. Toi Hutchinson.

"We thank members of the Illinois House and Senate for embracing the diversity of Illinoisans by recognizing and respecting transgender and intersex people born in this state for who they are," said John Knight, Director of the ACLU of Illinois’ LGBT and HIV Project. "Governor Rauner now has an opportunity to do the same. If the legislation is signed, Illinois would join fourteen other states and the District of Columbia in allowing people who are transgender and intersex to change the gender marker on their birth certificate."

"No one should face the dilemma of being denied a birth certificate that conforms with their gender simply because they are unable – or cannot afford – to undergo surgery that the medical community agrees is not necessary for everyone who transitions," Knight continued.  "People who are transgender and intersex should make their own medical decisions with the guidance of medical health professionals—not politicians. We urge Governor Rauner to sign this bill as soon as possible."

"The need for this legislation was evident from the heartbreaking calls and e-mails that we have received over the years from frustrated transgender Illinoisans who say the outdated Illinois law prevents them from obtaining an accurate birth certificate," added Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. "To avoid humiliation, discrimination, and harassment, it is critically important for transgender individuals to have identification documents that reflect their authentic gender identity. We call on Gov. Rauner to promptly sign the bill when it reaches his desk so transgender Illinoisans can live equal lives."



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