(The Center Square) – A recently passed bill would add self-identified gender identity and sexual orientation to the existing annual reporting requirement for public corporations.
The bill is on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk.
State Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, filed Senate Bill 1730. It aims to identify corporations that want to promote qualified LGBTQ individuals to serve on their leadership boards.
Jones said that SB 1730 is an important step to help move the state forward and to develop policies that reflect the state’s diversity.
While SB 1730 is not a mandate for the people in the LGBTQ community, but it is meant to help people who wish to self-identify, Jones said.
“This bill is not meant to get anyone to out themselves, it is to help those who want to self-identify and help develop legislation that will reflect the diversity in the state of Illinois,” Jones said.
Chief Executive Officer of Equality Illinois Brian Johnson said that the bill is an important step in advancing and ensuring diversity in the workplace.
“Due to a history of stigmatization and discrimination and being forced to hide our authentic selves in workplaces, the LGBTQ community has been without space at the table of power,” he said. “SB 1730 will ensure diversity, inclusion, and equity in Illinois businesses.”
Senate Bill 1730 was able to pass through both houses on its way to the governor’s desk but was met with opposition from some of the other lawmakers.
State Sen. Neil Anderson, R-Moline, opposed SB 1730. He said while this bill is not a mandate and is being used to collect data, that there might be people who do not feel comfortable revealing their sexual orientation in a business setting.
“How do we not know that the LGBTQ community isn’t already properly represented but they just don’t want to talk about it because they feel it is not important in a business setting?” Anderson said.
If Pritzker signs SB 1730, it would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.