Press Room

January 12, 2005

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HRC Lauds Passage of Illinois Anti-Discrimination Bill

'We can thank the hard work of Equality Illinois for this significant victory,' said HRC's National Field Director Seth Kilbourn.

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign lauded the Illinois Legislature's passage of a bill banning discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the workplace, real estate transactions, access to financial credit and public accommodations.

"We can thank the hard work of Equality Illinois for this significant victory," said HRC National Field Director Seth Kilbourn. "This win serves as a welcome reminder for the new year that Americans of both parties support fair and equal protection for GLBT people. As the nation moves ahead in the quest for equality, we should be mindful that a commitment to the fight pays off."

Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a longtime supporter of GLBT equality, has pledged to sign the measure into law. The Illinois Senate passed the bill by a 30-27 vote on Jan. 10 and the House by 65-51 vote yesterday. According to the Chicago Tribune, the strong votes came following appeals from several black lawmakers who urged other legislators to end "modern-day discrimination," as well as support from a dozen Republicans.

The law will make Illinois the 15th state to ban workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian and bisexual people and the fifth state to protect transgender people against workplace discrimination. Since 2003, all state laws protecting the community from discrimination have included protection for transgender people (California and New Mexico, both in 2003, and Illinois in 2005), indicating a positive trend.

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