Illinois Adopts New LGBTQ+ Protections for Community Deemed 'Under Attack' in the US
CHICAGO (AP) Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday signed into law two measures aimed at safeguarding the rights of LGBTQ+ people as other states move to restrict the community, just days after the Human Rights Campaign declared a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans.
One of the new laws will update language in existing acts to be more gender inclusive in order to affirm LGBTQ+ youth in foster care, and the other will make it easier for LGBTQ+ couples to marry. The laws will be effective on Aug. 8 and on Jan. 1, 2024, respectively.
Illinois is one of several U.S. states with Democratic-majority legislatures that has worked to reinforce LGBTQ+ rights, as Republican-led legislatures in other states advance bills that target the community, including restrictions on gender-affirming care, bans on transgender youth participation in sports, and " bathroom bills." The two new pro-LGBTQ+ Illinois laws were signed about a week into Pride month, a season intended to celebrate the lives and experiences of LGBTQ+ communities, but which this year takes place in a contentious political climate.