Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined her counterparts from 12 other states in filing a brief voicing support of the Obama administration's policies aimed at creating protections and equal treatment for transgender Americans.
The brief comes in response to two groups of states that are pushing back against the Obama administration's interpretation of federal protections for transgender individuals in schools and the workplace, saying that such individuals are not protected under current civil rights laws. The states are also legally challenging new Department of Education guidelines that allow transgender students to use facilities that correspond to their gender identity.
"The States that file this brief--Washington, New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, and the District of Columbia (the Amici States)--do so because our shared experience demonstrates that protecting transgender individuals from discrimination benefits all members of the public," the filing reads. "And contrary to Plaintiffs' claims, our shared experience demonstrates that protecting the civil rights of our transgender friends, relatives, classmates, and colleagues creates no public safety threat and imposes no meaningful financial burden."
Illinois LGBT advocates are applauding Madigan for voicing her support of transgender equality and protections.
"Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is standing firm for the equal rights of transgender Illinoisans, especially students. In signing this bold brief in support of the Obama Administration's trans-inclusive policies, Attorney General Madigan's position is rooted in the best traditions of the Land of Lincoln," said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.