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New laws aim to improve LGBTQ+ community in Illinois

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Pritzker Illinois LGBTQ+ bills

CHICAGO (WREX) — Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed a package of legislation Tuesday aimed at improving rights of the LGBTQ+ community in the state.

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.

RELATED: Starting today, Illinois law requires LGBTQ history curriculum to be taught in schools

Here's a full look at the package of bills signed into law:

  • 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. 

“Today, I’ll sign four new bills into law that advance Illinoisans’ ability to live their fullest lives as their truest selves. 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.”

Gov. Pritzker
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Andrew Carrigan

Andy Carrigan is the Social Media & Digital Content Manager at WREX. He joined the 13 WREX team as a photographer in 2016 after graduating from Northern Illinois University.

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