The LGBT community saw great advances in 2014, advances led by the ACLU of Illinois. Today, thousands of gay and lesbian couples and their families across the State of Illinois enjoy the dignity of having their love and commitment respected as marriage in Illinois.

The ACLU of Illinois worked tirelessly to pass the marriage bill in the Illinois General Assembly, but we didn't stop there. . .

In January, the ACLU went to federal court and won a victory for gay and lesbian couples to get immediate access to marriage licenses if one of the partners was suffering a grave illness. These couples could not wait for marriage law approved in November to kick in on June 1, 2014.

In February, the ACLU returned to federal court where a judge issued a sweeping decision allowing gay and lesbian couples to begin marrying that day in Cook County, and other counties soon followed.

In June, the new law was implemented statewide, leading to thousands of happy couples and their families being able to enjoy the dignity and protections of marriage.

Also this year, we worked tirelessly to lessen discrimination against transgender persons in our state, particularly in our public schools. We hosted discussions (with representatives of the Illinois State Board of Education present) to talk about issues that transgender youth face in our state, from problems with being called by the appropriate gender to access to bathrooms and locker rooms. And, we continued to work on behalf of individual youths to improve conditions in their schools and communities.

Late this year, we saw the State of Illinois approve new guidelines that ensure that transgender individuals have access to health care in our state.

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