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Passed out of Committee in September, the measure goes before City Council for a final vote Wednesday.

(CHICAGO) Alderman Andre Vasquez (40th Ward) hopes to see a measure advance Wednesday that would update City of Chicago forms, paperwork, and templates to include gender-neutral and gender-affirming language options. 

Vasquez’s bill, SO2020-2852, would require the city to provide male/female/nonbinary options on City forms that ask for a gender identity, as well as providing space for pronouns and including the gender-neutral “Mx.” honorific option on City templates for things like business cards and stationery. The bill also prohibits the City from asking for an individual’s gender or sex unless required for medical reasons or by another law. 

Vasquez explained, “I introduced this ordinance because of my belief in the power of words and language in shaping the way we think as a society where context matters.” He continued, “We have lived in a world where so many of us have felt excluded or marginalized across our identities and it is incumbent upon us as representatives to create an environment where all are welcome to live their authentic lives in every facet of it, including the workplace.”

The ordinance was approved by a unanimous vote in the Health and Human Relations Committee on September 21, and Vasquez is optimistic about its chances in the full City Council. Looking ahead, Vasquez also plans to introduce a resolution requesting that the Illinois legislature remove gender from the title “Alderman,” and use the inclusive term “Alder” instead.