Chicago: City Council Passes Gender Identity Option in City Documents
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CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago City Council today passed the amendment for a Gender Identity Option in City documents that will be enforced by the Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR), the agency responsible for investigating and adjudicating complaints of discrimination and enforcing the City of Chicago's civil rights laws. This new amendment will be housed under the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance.

"Today's passage of the Gender Identity Option ordinance demonstrates our ongoing commitment to creating a more equitable and affirming City government for the people of Chicago," said Mayor Lightfoot. "This ordinance ensures that we can effectively protect our residents' privacy rights while also reinforcing the City's commitment to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. I applaud City Council and Commissioner Andrade's efforts to ensure Chicago remains a place where all aspects of our residents' identities are respected and acknowledged."

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The Gender Identity Option will allow Chicago residents to be more fully represented when receiving essential services and assistance. The ordinance also ensures the city can collect important information to make sure those services are provided in a fair and unbiased manner.

"The Passage of the Gender Identity Option is a win for our city by providing important safeguards for our residents and city workers," said Nancy Andrade, Chair and Commissioner of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations. "This amendment is consistent with the City's values of equity and equality in recognizing one's right to self-identify."

Prior to the passage of the Gender Identity Option, the ordinance required the City forms only ask individuals' gender, if necessary, for medical reasons or required by law. However, prior to this amendment, this was preventing the City of Chicago from capturing necessary information that could support our ability to evaluate the needs for equity in our services and programs. This legislation, championed by the Mayor's Office, Alderman Vazquez, and community advocates identifies new language that ensures the rights of residents are protected while also ensuring the City can continue to pursue its equity goals.

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"I am really proud to work with the Mayor's Office to ensure that all of our residents feel represented and included in city programs and services," said Alderman Andre Vazquez, 40th Ward. "Our shared goal was to advance a workable strategy that makes sure that all our residents, including our gender non-conforming and non-binary community, feel like they can be fully seen in the City and free from discrimination. It is our role as government leaders to advance any opportunity we have to align with our values of equity and inclusion with our core work."

The Chicago Commission on Human Relations is committed to eliminating prejudice, bias, and discrimination across the city by enforcing Chicago's anti-discrimination ordinances, including the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance.

Filed Under: Government, City

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