Human Rights Laws and Commissions in Illinois

State of Illinois - The Illinois Human Rights Act, passed in 1979, includes neither gender identity nor sexual orientation. In 1999, the Illinois Department of Human Rights adopted a ruling that Gender Identity Disorder is covered under the State's Human Rights Act as a mental handicap

A bill (HB101) is pending that would amend the current law by adding "sexual orientation" as defined as "having or perceived as having emotional, physical, or sexual attraction to another without regard to the sex of that person or having or being perceived as having an orientation for such an attraction, or having or being perceived as having a self-image or identity not traditionally associated with one's biological maleness or femaleness."

Illinois Department of Human Rights
Receives, investigate and conciliate complaints

Illinois Human Rights Commission
Adjudicates complaints and renders decisions

Illinois HRC Decisions Repository

Illinois Human Rights Act
Current law, passed in 1979

Pending Human Rights Bill (HB101)
The bill introduced in January 2001, passed the Illinois House of Representatives in March 2001, and is pending in the Illinois Senate

Chicago - Gender identity was added to the Human Rights Ordinance, Fair Housing Ordinance, and Chicago Personnel Code effective November 13, 2002.

Chicago Commission on Human Relations

Chicago Human Rights Ordinance

CCHR Cases and Rulings

Chicago Gender Identity Amendment

Cook County - Gender Identity was added to the Cook County Human Rights Ordinance on November 19, 2002. It becomes effective 60 days after passage.

Cook County Commission on Human Rights

Cook County Human Rights Ordinance

Cook County Commission Cases and Rulings

Cook County Gender Identity Amendment

Other Illinois Jurisdictions - Currently there are 5 other cities in Illinois that provide human rights protections for transgender and/or gender variant people.

Champaign and Urbana were the 2nd and 3rd jurisdictions in the U.S. to provide protection to transgender people. The protection is restricted to transsexuals, and would not cover other gender variant people.

Evanston was the 12th city to add protections, and uses the gender identity definition from the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

DeKalb became the 30th U.S. jurisdiction in 2000 by adding a broad defintion of gender to their ordinance.

Decatur added Sexual Orientation to their Human Rights Ordinance in November 2002. The ordinance uses the same definition of Sexual Orientation that was used in Evanston.

Champaign (1977) and Urbana (1979)- "Sex" is defined as the state of being or becoming male or female or transsexual, or pregnant.

Evanston (1997) - "Sexual orientation" includes having or being perceived as having a self image or identity not traditionally associated with one's biological maleness or femaleness.

DeKalb (2000) - "Gender" means a person's actual or perceived sex, and includes a person's gender identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's sex at birth

Decatur (2002) - "Sexual orientation" includes having or being perceived as having a self image or identity not traditionally associated with one's biological maleness or femaleness.