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Equality Illinois celebrates Chicago gender identity ordinance

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CHICAGO — Equality Illinois celebrated the Chicago City Council’s recent passage of an ordinance that modernizes how gender identity is reflected on city forms and personal documentation.

Ordinance 2020-2852 passed the Chicago City Council on Wednesday, Oct. 7. It allow individuals to designate “non-binary” when selection of gender identity from pre-determined options is required on any city form. If honorifics or titles are included as part of any city form, the gender-neutral Mx. must be included as an option. And individuals would be able to designate their personal pronouns of he/him, she/her, or they/them for inclusion on city business cards, letterhead, stationary, or other personalized documentation.

The ordinance also limits the opportunities when the City can ask someone about their sex or gender identity on city forms. Under the ordinance, the City can only ask an individual’s sex or gender identity if required by another law or necessary for medical reasons.

The ordinance was sponsored by Andre Vasquez, alderman for the 40th Ward on the north side of the city.

“I introduced this ordinance because of my belief in the power of words and language in shaping the way we think as a society where context matters,” Vasquez said in a statement. “We have lived in a world where so many of us have felt excluded or marginalized across our identities and it is incumbent upon us as representatives to create an environment where all are welcome to live their authentic lives in every facet of it, including the workplace.”

“Thank you, Ald. Vasquez, for your leadership on this ordinance, Myles Brady Davis, Equality Illinois director of communications, in the same press release. “It speaks to Chicago’s inclusivity and progressive tradition of advancing and protecting the rights of trans and gender non-conforming people. The ordinance is a critical step to helping those of us who are trans or gender non-conforming to be secure in our persons and affirmed for who we are.”

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