Illinois Department of Human Rights, the state's vanguard of LGBTQ rights, issued new guidance to protect LGBTQ students under the terms of the Illinois Human Rights Act.
The non-regulatory guidance is based on the recommendations of the Affirming and Inclusive Schools Task Force
, made up of students, educators, and other professionals with education and child development expertise.
The task force was commissioned by Gov. J.B. Pritzker by executive order on June 30, 2019.
Among the members of this group are current high school student Tre Graham, recent high school graduates Emily Aguilar, Jordan Eason, Benton Goff, and parent Mika Yamamoto.
There were principals and superintendents, counselors and health practicioners, members ACLU of Illinois, Howard Brown Health Center, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance
, Lambda Legal, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, among others.
The published guidance will be available to schools across Illinois, as well as their parents and communities, to understand what it means to have protections for LGBTQ students, what those protections are, and why they are needed in the first place.
"Ensuring every Illinois student has access to a safe, validating learning environment where they can be their true self is a top priority for my administration," Gov. Priztker said.
"This guidance from the Illinois Department of Human Rights will provide students, caregivers, and educators another tool to ensure classrooms are welcoming, affirming, and inclusive for all students."
Gov. Priztker, who is seeking a second term in this year's election, is already being blasted by potential Republican opponents as an affront to family values according to sources close to Illinois state Sen. Darren Bailey (55th).
Bailey, a North Clay School Board member, and founder of an Evangelical Christian School that teaches marriage is between one man and one woman, and homosexuality is a just a sinful lifestyle of choice, says Pritzker is just pushing the gay agenda.