Illinois Law

Illinois has several laws specifically addressing transgender people and our needs and risks. Read this page to learn our rights.

Current Law
Right to Non-discrimination
In 2005, the state of Illinois passed the Illinois Human Rights Act Protections Regarding Sexual Orientation. This act prevents treating anyone differently regarding employment, housing, access to financial credit, and public accommodations based on their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. For more information, read IGA’s official document or the full text of the law.

Name Change
Anyone in Illinois can change their name including the name listed on their driver’s license or state id and birth certificate. After those changes they can use their documentation to change their social security card and passport.

Gender Marker Change
Those with an Illinois birth certificate who undergo genital surgery can have the gender marker (female or male) changed to reflect their body. Currently, surgery is required to be done by a U.S. physician.

Marriage
Illinois citizens can marry a person of the sex opposite to the gender listed on their birth certificate. This applies for transgender and cisgender people, whether they have had or not had a name change or a birth certificate change. If a person marries and later changes their gender marker, their marriage remains intact. This is despite that the resulting marriage is, in a sense, a same-sex marriage which are prohibited by Illinois law. This represents a legal gray zone but will only pose issues if the couple divorces and battles over custody or property. Therefore, IGA encourages trans people to do their best to retain their marriage and, if not yet married, find a spouse that supports transgenderism. Illinois does not have civil unions or grant any rights to same-sex couples.