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New laws aim to improve LGBTQ+ community in Illinois

pritzker

(WSIL) -- Governor JB Pritzker signed a package of legislation Tuesday aimed at improving rights of the LGBTQ+ community in Illinois.

The four pieces of legislation expand infertility treatment coverage for same-sex couples and women over 35, allow those getting married to choose gender-neutral certificates and those already married to have their certificates updated, and address HIV stigma by repealing the HIV criminalization law.

“Today, I’ll sign four new bills into law that advance Illinoisans’ ability to live their fullest lives as their truest selves,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “In our continued efforts to shape a safer and more inclusive Illinois, my administration is on a mission to lift up and empower those who too often have been overlooked or forgotten. Today, the State of Illinois is taking another step to advance that mission.”

The package of bills signed into law includes:

  • HB 3709, which updates the state’s existing infertility insurance law to include LGBTQ+ families and single parents, while reducing the wait time for women over 35
    • The bill expands insurance coverage for infertility treatments coverage to include same-sex couples, women over 35, single persons, and those who cannot get pregnant naturally due to a medical reason. Therefore, granting discrimination protections for individuals accessing fertility treatments.
    • Currently, coverage requirements are limited in scope, only protecting infertility treatments for women under the age of 35 who are unable to become pregnant after one year of trying, women over 35 who are unable to become pregnant after six months, and women who are unable to conceive without medical intervention. This legislation increases coverage in the insurance code to be more inclusive for LGBTQ+ families, single parents, and women over 35. HB 3709 takes effect January 1, 2022.
  • SB 139, which establishes a process for individuals to correct the gendered language on their marriage certificates
    • The bill  updates marriage certificates by allowing married couples to request a new marriage certificate from the county clerk free of any gender identifying language. This includes changing language to gender-neutral terms such as “spouse.” SB 139 takes effect January 1, 2022.
  • HB 2590, which creates a uniform standard that county clerks must adhere to for name changes on marriage certificates
    • This bill creates a uniform standard that county clerks must adhere to for name changes on marriage certificates. This is the same standard when making legal name changes on government documents such as birth certificates and driver’s licenses. County clerks can issue new marriage certificates if the marriage occurred in Illinois and if legal documentation of the name change is provided. HB 2590 is effective immediately.
  • HB 1063, which repeals an HIV criminalization law
    • The new law modernizes the approach to public health regarding HIV in Illinois, by decriminalizing the transmission of HIV. Currently, individuals living with HIV face the threat of arrest, prosecution, and incarceration due to their HIV status, regardless of whether they transmit HIV to another individual.
    • This legislation amends the Unified Code of Corrections to remove the State’s Attorney ability to request the results of an HIV test if it is relevant to prosecute the charge of criminal transmission of HIV. The bill also amends the AIDS Confidentiality Act so that the disclosure of HIV-related information would no longer be able to be released. Ultimately, the legislation ensures HIV is treated like other chronic conditions, furthering the administration’s mission to end HIV in Illinois. HB 1063 is effective immediately. 

“These pieces of critical legislation are a commitment to justice,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “We will continue this important work of ensuring Illinois is an inclusive state that is safe for members of our LGBTQ community to be their authentic selves and live free from discrimination.”

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Kenzie Dillow

Kenzie Dillow is the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at News 3 WSIL. She joined the team in 2016 as a video editor, moved into a Producer role in 2017 and took over the SMDCM position in 2021. Kenzie graduated from SIU Carbondale in 2016 with a Bachelor’s in Sports Broadcasting and a minor in Advertising.

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