LGBTQ rights activists say two pieces of legislation should be signed by the governor. Both passed the General Assembly unanimously.
One would ban the “panic defense” in the murders of LGBTQ people. Another would allow transgender individuals to change their birth certificates without sex reassignment surgery. Mike Ziri is the director of public policy for Equality Illinois. He said not every transgender person can afford the surgery, or even desires it. “We’re hopeful the governor will sign this and continue our proud tradition of LGBTQ civil rights in Illinois,” Ziri said. The deadline for the governor to act is next week.
The governor did recently sign a measure the organization supports. Equality Illinois celebrated the passage of what’s been called the “LGBTQ Public Service Bill.” The idea is to encourage people in that community to be better represented on boards and commissions under the Governor’s Office. Those who apply will have the option to acknowledge their sexuality and gender identity on application forms. ”That helps when it comes time to advancing policies that are inclusive, affirmative and fair and representative of the diversity of the great state of Illinois," Ziri said.
Equality Illinois also said in a press release that the new law "adds the new data about sexual orientation and gender identity to an existing annual report to the General Assembly of the demographic data of individuals who apply for boards and commissions and for those who are appointed." It takes effect January 1, 2018.