Illinois Legislation Passes Bill Over LGBT+ Community


Katie Floyd

Chicago pride flag.

Al White , Rookie Reporter

In August 2019, the Illinois Legislation signed off on House Bill 346  stating that, “The teaching of history shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this state.”

This is monumental for the LGBT+ community, the older generation finally realizing how important representation is. The children and young adults learning about this will become comfortable talking openly about gender and sexuality while also becoming more accepting of others. 

Illinois is only the fourth state to pass such a bill, behind Colorado, California, and New Jersey and will be taking effect sometime in July of 2020. Even though there are states beginning to recognize the LGBT+ community, there are still six states–Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas–where it is illegal to talk about LGBT+ history and issues in classrooms. 

 There are also some problems that have arisen, mostly surrounding conservative and religious parents who are not willing to let their children learn about LGBTQ+ history. Even though this has shown to be an issue because it is a state law, the only thing these parents can do is take their kid out of public school. 

The school board of Illinois also showed a conflict not wanting to make new books detailing LGBT+ history. This includes historical figures who identified/identify as part of the community, as well as important dates and events that have happened. The new 2020-2021 textbooks are said to have the correct information outlined in the bill. 

For those still in middle and high school who identify as LGBT+, it is a relief no longer having to hide. Having this resource will help aid children and teens struggling to come to terms with their sexual identity and gender.