Illinois law makes changing gender on out-of-state birth certificate easier

(The Center Square) – Two new measures that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says are LGBTQ+ affirming are now law. One lowers barriers for someone seeking to change the gender on their birth certificate from another state. Another bill requires certain nonprofits to disclose the demographics of board members.

Pritzker announced he signed House Bill 5507 Sunday, just before taking to the Chicago Pride Parade. Effective immediately, the measure lowers the barriers for an Illinoisan to get a court finding of fact to change the gender on their birth certificate from another state.

“Here in Illinois, we reject hate, bigotry, and discrimination and embrace the ethos of Pride through not only our laws but through our actions and shared values,” Pritzker said in a statement. “These bills expand on my administration’s work to better serve the LGBTQ+ community of Illinois, and I’m honored to sign them during this historic month of celebration and remembrance.”

On the House floor, state Rep. Dan Ugaste, R-Geneva, opposed HB5507.

“I think I’m safe in saying that most of us here don’t want other states telling us how to operate or what to do or what findings of fact we should make in our states and I don’t believe we should be doing the same in other states,” Ugaste said.

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy said the bill will impact a very small number of individuals and is a matter of life and death for those seeking to change their gender on their out-of-state birth certificate.

“It’s a very simple matter to create a pathway for folks who are now here in Illinois but maybe were born elsewhere because last I checked, we all really like it when people chose to come to Illinois,” Cassidy said.

Illinois already allows for individuals to change the gender designation on their Illinois birth certificate by signing a statement affirming their gender designation. The Illinois Secretary of State also has a Gender Designation Change Form available for people to affirm their gender on their state ID or driver’s license to Male, Female or X.

In the Illinois House, state Reps. Kevin Olickal, D-Skokie, Dan Ugaste, R-Geneva, and Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, discuss House Bill 5507. In the Illinois Senate, state Sens. Adriane Johnson, D-Buffalo Grove, and Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, discuss Senate Bill 2930.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2025, Senate Bill 2930 Pritzker signed Sunday requires certain nonprofits to disclose the demographic information of their boards if they grant more than $1 million a year to other organizations.

In the Senate before it passed, state Sen. Adriane Johnson, D-Buffalo Grove, said the measure will foster diversity, equity and inclusion.

“And then it also allows individual board members to decline the disclosure of any demographic information to their nonprofit organization,” she said.

That declination must be noted, per the law.

State Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, said the measure may keep some people from volunteering for nonprofit boards.

“If you’ve got six board members and two won’t disclose and four do, it’s easy enough to see who the ones aren’t,” Tracy said. “It’s … just a bit of a burden to put on a not-for-profit.”

Tracy said there are many large and small nonprofits in Illinois that will be impacted by the mandate.

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