SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — March 16, 2021 — Today, Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison (District 15), the first openly LGBTQ Cook County Board member, introduced the Gender Inclusive Documents and Forms Ordinance, which would expand gender identity options available to residents on Cook County forms. The ordinance would add "transgender woman/transfeminine," "transgender man/transmasculine," and "nonbinary/gender nonconforming" to county documents as gender identity options when a person's sex must be identified.
"I believe in building a Cook County that is inclusive and welcoming — that means giving people more opportunities to truly identify as their authentic selves," said Commissioner Morrison. "Transgender people across the country are under attack by dangerous lawmakers and endure violence and discrimination. This ordinance validates trans lives and takes a critical step toward ensuring Cook County's LGBTQ community feels safe and respected."
The ordinance would ban Cook County from asking an individual's sex on forms unless required for medical reasons, government data collection, or by law. If a person's sex must be identified, the ordinance would require the county to ask for both "sex assigned at birth" and gender identity.
"This ordinance is an important step forward for transgender people in Cook County. Almost every member of the trans community has struggled with filling out an official form at some point, or found that the options available don't accurately represent them." said Stephanie Skora, Associate Executive Director of Brave Space Alliance. "By removing questions about sex and gender entirely, outside of medically necessary cases, Commissioner Morrison's ordinance will streamline access to services for tens of thousands of Cook County's most vulnerable residents, and make a strong statement that, as our community is under attack nationwide, Cook County cares about the needs of trans people."
Commissioner Morrison submitted the ordinance on Tuesday, March 16. The ordinance will be sent to committee for consideration during the April board cycle.
"We thank Commissioner Morrison for his leadership advancing how county government interacts with and supports trans and non-binary constituents," said Myles Brady Davis, Press Secretary and Director of Communications at Equality Illinois. "The ordinance is a critical step to helping those of us who are trans or non-binary be secure in our persons and affirmed for who we are. While there is certainly more work to be done to ensure Cook County is truly a welcoming space for trans and non-binary people, especially people of color, this ordinance is an important step."
The Gender Inclusive Documents and Forms Ordinance would:
Ban asking a person's sex on forms unless required for medical reasons, data collection, or by law
Ask both "sex assigned at birth" and gender identity when a person's sex must be identified
Add "transgender woman/transfeminine," "transgender man/transmasculine," "nonbinary/gender nonconforming," an option to fill in gender identity, and "decline to answer" as available gender identity options
Add gender neutral "Mx" or decline to answer when honorifics are required
Add gender identity to personal identifying documents (I.D. cards, business cards, stationery, and letterheads), with the choices of "he/him," "she/her," "they/them," or an option to fill in pronouns