Illinois Gov Signs Bill Making All Government Titles Gender Neutral


Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill this past week that, among other items, tackles gendered language in official government titles by banning the use of the word “man” or “men” statewide.

SB0825, a bill that moved next year’s primary elections from February to June, tacked a number of issues that Democrats in the state were seeking to rectify.

WTTW-TV reported the Democratic bill also hopes to buy more time for redistricting as lawmakers await 2020 Census data.

But the bill also went after the official use of gendered language in titles for elected officials.

A provision at the end of the lengthy bill, however, will change words like “alderman” to “alderperson,” while the word “congressman” in an official capacity will be changed to “congressperson.”

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Democratic state Rep. Maurice West told WTTW that it was time to change the language, and the lawmaker even mentioned those who don’t identify as either male or female don’t feel excluded.

“We see a lot of ‘hes’ and ‘hims’” West said. “And now we have, you know, not just women in office, but we have people who may not identify with any gender. We want to make sure that our voting and our election cycle process is inclusive for everyone.”

Pritzker did not comment on the gendered language portion of the bill after signing it into law.

Illinois Democrats are not the first to take on words this year that identify people by their gender.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in January sought a rule change which would ban the use of some words on the House floor in order to “honor all gender identities” by targeting the use of words like “son” and “daughter” from being mentioned by family members of representatives.

A resolution from the Committee on Rule announced it would change “pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules to be gender neutral or removes references to gender, as appropriate, to ensure we are inclusive of all Members, Delegates, Resident Commissioners and their families — including those who are nonbinary.”

The resolution, which was proposed by both Pelosi and Democratic Massachusetts Rep. James McGovern, also went after terms such as “seamen,” whining the word to “seafarers.”

“Chairman” was changed to “chair.

Familial pronouns such as son, daughter husband, wife, father, mother and other words for family members were proposed to be nixed in favor of supposedly inclusive words such as “parent, child, sibling, spouse, or parent-in-law.”

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Pelosi, in a statement, called the affront on traditional language “bold.”

“Thanks to the leadership of Chairman McGovern and our Members, Democrats have crafted a package of unprecedented, bold reforms, which will make the House more accountable, transparent and effective in our work to meet the needs of the American people,” Pelosi said.

Democrats, just two weeks ago, introduced a budget for the 2022 fiscal year which replaced the word “mothers” with “birthing people” in a section that tackled maternal mortality rates, Newsweek reported.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.