New LGBTQ friendly laws take effect today in Illinois

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Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. (Photo via Good Free Photos)

SPRINGFIELD — Two new LGBTQ friendly laws take effect today in Illinois: Inclusive Curriculum Law and Public Act 101-0430 on the Illinois Human Rights Act.

The Inclusive Curriculum Law was the initiative of Equality Illinois, the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance (a program of the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago) and the Legacy Project and was sponsored by State Rep. Anna Moeller (D-Elgin) and State Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago). The law passed the Illinois General Assembly last year with bipartisan support and was approved by Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on August 9, 2019.

Illinois is one of five states to enact such a law. The other states are California, New Jersey, Colorado, and Oregon. 

“I am excited the LGBTQ Inclusive Curriculum Law will be a reality for educators and students starting in all Illinois public schools this fall,” said Steans in a press release. “One of the best ways to support our youth and overcome intolerance is through education that acknowledges the contributions of LGBTQ people in the history of Illinois and the United States.”

Public Act 101-0430 extends the Illinois Human Rights Act’s employment non-discrimination protections to employers with one or more employees. Previously, the state law only applied to employers with fifteen or more workers. The new law puts Illinois on equal footing with states, such as Wisconsin and Minnesota, where existing employment non-discrimination laws apply to all workers. It was also signed in to law in August 2019.

“Just two weeks ago, we celebrated the US Supreme Court’s decision affirming LGBTQ non-discrimination in the workplace, a policy that had already been law in Illinois since 2006,” said Mike Ziri, director of public policy for Equality Illinois. “Today, Illinois further advanced workplace justice by ensuring that workers at small businesses in Illinois are protected from employment discrimination, not just workers at employers with fifteen or more employees.”

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