Illinois Bans Discrimination

January 12, 2005
The Illinois House of Representatives today passed a bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, voting 65 to 51. The bill addresses discrimination in employment, housing, lending and public accomodations and includes transgender people in its definition of sexual orientation. The Illinois Senate had already passed the legislation by a slim 30 - 27 margin on January 10. The bill uses a broad definition of sexual orientation: "Sexual orientation" means actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or gender-related identity, whether or not traditionally associated with the person's designated sex at birth. "Sexual orientation" does not include a physical or sexual attraction to a minor by an adult.

Chicago based Equality Illinois recently commisioned a survey of Illinois voters which indicated that two thirds supported legislation prohibiting discrimination. "There is this talk about the country moving right, with the gay-rights issue part of the focus,and here we have a poll way after the election, and it shows overwhelming support for gay rights."" said Rick Garcia, executive director.

Governor Rod Blagojevich has already said he will sign the bill. ?This truly is a landmark day in Illinois. This legislation sends a clear message that we will not allow our citizens to be discriminated against,? said Blagojevich.