For transgender and gender non-conforming people, the process of changing your name and getting documents to reflect those changes can be a burden. Two new laws in Illinois aim to ease that process through marriage certificates.
“It’s incumbent upon us to remove as many obstacles and barriers to that person reaching their authentic self,” said state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz, whose district includes the North Side of Chicago.
Channyn Parker, director of strategic partnerships with Howard Brown Health, said the process of accessing new documents along with the necessity of having proper identification like a birth certificate or marriage certificate can make life impossible for some trans and gender-nonconforming people.
“What the governor passed today is another step forward in the ability for individuals to actually enjoy the benefit of society,” Parker said. “It gives the folks we work with another thing to look forward to in life.”
The passage of these bills comes as a record number of anti-trans bills that restrict the rights of transgender people have been introduced throughout the country.
Parker said Illinois has been a safe haven for trans and gender-nonconforming people.
“We really do have dedicated individuals set into place who really want to make sure that trans and nonbinary folks live their best lives,” Parker said.