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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Most Illinois U.S. Representatives Back Bill Prohibiting LGBTQ Discrimination

United States Congress

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursdaythat allows churches to become more active politically. Critics say it could lead to LGBTQ discrimination, but U.S. lawmakers introduced a bill Tuesday that would prevent that discrimination – with several from Illinois as co-sponsors.

More than half of Illinois U.S. Representatives co-sponsored the House resolution, and U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin co-sponsored a similar Senate bill. They’re both meant “to prohibit discrimination” based on “sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.”

Illinois U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-11th, is one of the House bill’s co-sponsors. He says the bill needs Republican support going forward.

“Even Republicans are very likely to have gay members of their family, or transgendered members of their family,” Foster said. “And … you can’t discriminate any more.”

Foster says that, if the bill passes, it would override President Trump’s executive order. He says it will “ensure that LGBT individuals have a fair shot at jobs and federal benefits – the same as any other American.”

Family Research Council staff member Mandi Ancalle says the group is opposed to the House and Senate bills, saying the measures infringe on religious liberties for people of faith and gives special protections to people based on what they call subjective characteristics, like gender identity and sexual orientation.