Illinois introduces ‘affirming and inclusive’ protections for trans youth

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker holds his executive order alongside Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. (J.B. Pritzker/Twitter)

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed an executive order aimed at protecting young trans people.

Pritzker used the 50th anniversary weekend of the Stonewall uprising to introduce new safeguarding measures for queer students across the state.

Announcing the order in a tweet on Sunday (June 30), he said that schools will be given all they need to be “affirming and inclusive for transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming students.”

As part of these measures, a task force will be established to guide the state board of education in promoting LGBT+ rights in schools and developing procedures around issues such as names, pronouns and dress codes.

The 25-strong task force will issue its first report in January 2020, according to the Chicago Tribute.

The executive order goes some way to boost the rights of LGBT+ students after President Donald Trump rescinded Obama-era guidance which enshrined a person’s right to use the correct bathroom for their gender back in 2017.

Lori Lightfoot marches for Pride

Pritzker signed the order at Lake View High School, where he was flanked by Lori Lightfoot, the lesbian mayor of Chicago, Illinois,

“Ending the intolerable levels of discrimination and violence against our transgender community starts here—in our schools—by making the values of tolerance and respect just as much a part of our educational cultural as academics, athletics, and the arts,” Lightfoot said in a statement.

“Ending the intolerable levels of discrimination and violence against our transgender community starts here.”

—Lori Lightfoot, mayor of Chicago

The first openly gay person and the first black woman to serve as mayor, Lightfoot spoke as she geared up to walk Chicago Pride as one of seven grand marshals.

She marched with route with her wife Amy Eshleman and police superintendent Eddie Johnson, and told well-wishers that she was “humbled by the incredible support and optimism that has been infectious all over our city.”

Sadly, the parade ended early after the National Weather Service issued a severe weather warning for thunderstorms and intense rainfall.


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