Governor Pritzker Signs Executive Order To Protect Transgender Students

Rachel Pierson
July 01, 2019 - 10:18 am
Governor J.B. Pritzker

Joshua Lott/Getty Images

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Governor JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot signed Sunday an executive order to ensure schools statewide have the tools be affirming and inclusive for transgender, non-binary and gender nonconforming students.

The two closed out Pride Month with the signing, showing that people of all gender identities are protected in Illinois. 

"This executive order establishes a task force with the mission of disrupting these patterns of discrimination by identifying best practices for guaranteeing inclusive school environments  for students of all gender identities," Pritzker said.

The task force, made up of 25 people appointed by Pritzker, will study the rights of transgender students and what schools are doing to promote LGBTQ rights to make sure students have "welcoming" and "inclusive" environments. It will also put procedures in place for student dress codes, names, and pronouns. Their report is due in January 2020.

Mayor Lightfoot has made LGBTQ rights one of her top priorities since taking office. 

"I hope that during my tenure as Mayor, trans individuals have the same access and the same opportunities as everyone else," she said.

Advocacy group Equality Illinois calls it a positive step, but said stronger statewide protections are needed. Equality Illinois CEO Brian Johnson said they are not celebrating yet.

"We prefer to not celebrate when commitments are made, but when protections are in place," Johnson said.