Despite all of our progress with LGBTQ equality, Illinois’ name change law is one of the most restrictive in the United States and harms vulnerable communities. Tell your state senator to support House Bill 2542 to disrupt barriers for trans and gender expansive folks.
HB 2542 has a simple premise. The same standard should apply to all name changes. HB 2542 allows judges to decide about allowing a name change for a person with a felony conviction This is how all other name changes in Illinois occur. There shouldn’t be a harsh statutory prohibition for some people.
Legal documents that show who we are authentically are essential to being able to fully engage in society. For many people in our community, a legal name change is key to those documents.
However, in Illinois, you can’t legally change your name if you have a felony conviction until 10 years after your sentence concludes. If you have an identity theft conviction, you are barred for life from ever changing your legal name. These harsh and antiquated laws create barriers for some of the most marginalized people in the state, including trans people, gender-expansive folks, and survivors of human trafficking.
HB 2542 would bring Illinois in line with the majority of other states and is an important step to ensure that trans people, gender-expansive people, and survivors of human trafficking live safer and more authentic lives. We applaud the leadership on HB 2542 of trans advocates as well as organizations including Taskforce Prevention and Community Services, Transformative Justice Law Project, Chicago House and Social Service Agency, and the ACLU of Illinois.
Take action today. Tell your state senator to support HB 2542: