SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed HB 246 over the weekend, which ensures that LGBTQ history will be taught in Illinois Schools.
The bill was an initiative of Equality Illinois, the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, and the Legacy Project and is supported by the Illinois State Board of Education and a broad coalition of statewide and local educational, civil rights, health, and civic organizations. It would require the inclusion of LGBTQ historical contributions in any textbooks purchased through block grants from the state. Any group listed under the Illinois Human Rights Act would be highlighted.
It goes into effect on July 1, 2020.
Equality Illinois celebrated the signing in a Facebook post.
The bill passed its last hurdle with State Senate passage back in May. Lawmakers in southern and eastern Illinois had pushed back on the bill, wanting families to be able to have their kids “opt out” from learning about LGBTQ, but the bill passed with strong majorities in the House and Senate.
This is just the latest progressive police or law in Illinois since last November’s election. Other progressive moves have included laws on abortion access, legal cannabis, and PrEP access for youth and policies in support of transgender youth and seniors, flying the LGBTQ Pride flag over the statehouse, and options for non-binary ID.