State Senator Christopher Lauzen (R-25 District) is against the measure because “small businesses would be hit with a flood of lawsuits by gays who have been denied jobs.” Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich plans to sign it.

The Illinois Human Rights Act was passed by the state’s Senate on Monday night, and now moves on to its House, where it will easily pass. This bill will prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, public accommodations and credit. (Gay News From

Gay rights advocates have been pressing for the law to be passed for nearly a decade. A recent poll sponsored by Equality Illinois shows that a wide majority of Illinois residents support granting civil rights protections to gays.

The House has passed bills to provide protections for gays and lesbians in the past only to have the legislation die in the Senate.

State Sen. Carol Ronen (D-Chicago) took the measure off the floor in November, at the time saying that she did not have the votes needed. Her decision followed an often acrimonious hour long debate, mostly along religious and moral grounds.

She reintroduced the legislation late last week saying she now had the votes needed for passage. It passed Monday night by a 30 -27 vote following a heated debate.

[WTF?!] Sen. Christopher Lauzen (R-Aurora) speaking against the measure said statistics link homosexuality to lower life expectancy and warned that small businesses would be hit with a flood of lawsuits by gays who have been denied jobs.

Today is the final day of business for the House. Gov. Rod Blagojevich has indicated he would sign the bill if it is passed.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding