Illinois House passes bill to modernize state's birth certificate law, bill moves to Senate

Thu. May 25, 2017 8:37 PM by News Staff

Advocates urge Senate to support bill to help transgender Illinoisans

Springfield, IL - A measure to modernize Illinois law allowing people to change the gender marker on their birth certificate, House Bill 1785, passed the House by a vote of 63 to 43 on Thursday and was sent to the Senate.

If the bill is signed into law, Illinois would join fourteen other states and the District of Columbia in allowing people who are transgender and intersex to change the gender marker on their birth certificate.

"With today's bipartisan vote, the Illinois House took a significant step towards building a better Illinois for transgender and intersex Illinoisans," said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois

State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) was the chief House sponsor of HB 1785. 

"Today we took a big step to modernize our state's half-century-old law on how transgender people correct their birth certificates," he said. "I want to thank those who voted yes to conform our laws with federal and other state requirements. This is so important for people who now more than ever need to be sure that their identifying documents are in order."

John Knight, Director of the ACLU of Illinois' LGBT and HIV Project, said the bill protects Illinoisans, in particular transgender people who face discrimination. 

"The legislation updates Illinois law to fit current medical standards and reduces the serious risks of discrimination and harm faced by many transgender people born in Illinois whose birth certificate fails to conform to their identity and appearance," he said.

Johnson added, "We know this legislation will make the lives of transgender and intersex people better. "As the bill now moves to the Illinois Senate, we thank Rep. Harris for his steadfast leadership and call on state senators to quickly pass the bill."