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Illinois approves anti-bullying bill that includes sexual orientation and gender identity

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign into law an anti-bullying bill that includes sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Illinois House voted unanimously on Friday, April 23, to approve the bill. The Senate passed its version on March 24.

Schools will now be required to adopt anti-bullying policies and create bullying-resistance education for students.

“At long last, schools across the state will be uniformly required to take steps to protect vulnerable kids from bullying and violence,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state's largest gay rights advocate.

“Students who are perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender are particularly vulnerable to bullying. And the attempted suicide rate rate among LGBT students, which is as much as three times higher than the general average, presents alarming evidence for just how urgently we need this law.”