Illinois

LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in the States

LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Illinois:

Since 2006, LGBTQ non-discrimination in Illinois has protected people from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

The Path to LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Illinois:

  • July 1973: Alderman Clifford Kelley proposes a Human Rights Ordinance for the City of Chicago, which would prevent discrimination against LGBTQ people. The bill makes little headway at the time.
  • October, 1987: Chicago remains one of the few large cities in the U.S. without LGBTQ anti-discrimination laws. Alderman Bernard Hansen advocates for such an ordinance, even in the face of strong religious opposition.
  • 1988: Acting Mayor of Chicago, Eugene Sawyer, leans on his colleagues to pass an anti-discrimination ordinance, gaining important supporters such as the ACLU, the United Methodist Church, and the Voters of Illinois-Independent Precincts Organization.
  • December 23, 1988: Chicago finally passes its non-discrimination ordinance by a vote of 28-17.
  • 1993: Cook County issues an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.
  • January 21, 2005: An amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act is approved by the state legislature and Governor Rod Blagojevich signs the bill into law, adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes covered by the state’s anti-discrimination laws. The law takes effect January 1, 2006.

Last Updated February 7, 2018

Active Litigation

Wetzel v. Glen St. Andrew Living Community

Case Concerning Housing Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

Key Date: August 27, 2018 • 7th Circuit Ruling in Favor of Plaintiff
Status: 7th Circuit Ruling in Favor of Plaintiff
Legal Team: Lambda Legal
Type: Housing Discrimination

The plaintiff is Marsha Wetzel, a woman in Niles, Illinois who experienced harassment and discrimination from residents and administrators at Glen St. Andrew Living Community.

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