032923CM1392SPRINGFIELD – To prioritize gender inclusivity across the state of Illinois and within state agencies, State Senator Mike Simmons advanced two House Bills out of the Senate on Thursday.

“Everyone deserves to be addressed and represented with the pronouns they use and prefer, especially by their state agencies and laws,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “These bills will ensure the language we use in state statutes and codes is inclusive of all identities, and will quantify non-binary and gender non-conforming people accurately within the state workforce.”

House Bill 1596 changes various public acts concerning children to contain more inclusive language, such as changing certain pronouns to general nouns or the nouns to which the pronouns refer, and replacing "biological" family or parent with "birth" family or parent.

House Bill 2297 adds state employees who identify as non-binary or gender non-conforming to the list of women, minorities and persons with physical disabilities in regards to agencies tracking this information to help guide efforts to achieve a more diversified state workforce.

“It is someone’s basic human right to be referred to by their preferred pronouns in everyday life, and these laws will reflect that right in our state systems,” Simmons said.

House Bill 1596 and House Bill 2297 passed the Senate on Thursday.