SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS (May 17, 2024)  — The Illinois Freedom Caucus has called on the General Assembly to pass HB 5830 — The Classification By Biological Sex Act — which was inspired by Independent Women’s Voices Women’s Bill of Rights model legislation. HB 5830 will codify the common-sense understanding of the words “male” and “female” when used in law.

The bill was introduced by Representative David Friess on April 29, 2024, and has been co-sponsored by Representatives Blaine Wilhour, Adam M Niemerg, Chris Miller, Brad Halbrook, Jed Davis, and Dan Caulkins. The Freedom Caucus members are joined by Independent Women’s Voice Ambassador Coach Kim Russell and the Wheeler Family to call on the Illinois Legislature to stand with women and prioritize HB 5830 during this legislative session.

Illinois laws use the words “woman,” “man,” “male,” and “female” at least 997 times. If enacted, HB 5830 would clearly define these terms preventing judges, unelected bureaucrats, and administrators in Illinois from unilaterally redefining the word “woman” to mean anyone who “identifies as a woman.”

In this way, the Women’s Bill of Rights inspired bill preserves the legislature’s authority to determine whether, and in what circumstances, female spaces and opportunities (like rape-crisis centers, domestic-violence shelters, athletic teams, locker rooms, and dormitories, for example) should remain single-sex.

Illinois Freedom Caucus Director Colin Moseley said, "It has been our honor to lead the legislative fight for common-sense changes to protect women and private spaces in Illinois. There is no acceptable scenario in which a biological woman should be forced to share a locker room with a biological male, and our state statute definitions should reflect that. We look forward to continuing to advocate for this policy solution, which is supported by a vast majority of families, regardless of a loud minority.”

Rep David Friess, said, “As a father to a daughter I am proud to be the chief sponsor of House Bill 5830. This legislation aims to simply define language that is already in statute — specifically, language that has to do with anti-discrimination laws and public health data. HB 5830 will codify that sex as it relates to an individual is their biological sex, and this is what decisions relating to private spaces, schools, sports teams, public health issues, etc, should be based on. Similar legislation has been supported in a bi-partisan manner across the country and should be embraced in Illinois, too.”

Rep Jed Davis said, “Defining ‘sex’ should not be controversial. We are simply aiming to clarify definitions in statute so that women and girls, and, truthfully, even men and boys, can feel safe in their private spaces. Also, we are aiming to provide clarity to schools, clubs, and other venues that are facing challenges because of a lack of clarity. It is important for everyone to know that similar legislation to this has passed in many states, a lot of them with bipartisan support. It is our hope that the majority party can see that this legislation deserves to pierce the political veil that often falls upon Springfield.”

Independent Women’s Ambassador and former Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Oberlin College Kim Russell said, “House Bill 5830 is simple. It is about protecting women. It doesn’t create any new laws. It simply defines words and clarifies the authenticity of vital statistics. I’m so excited to be in Illinois with the Wheeler’s and all the State Representatives who are standing with and for women.”

Former University of Kentucky NCAA Swimmer Kaitlynn Wheeler said, “As a female collegiate swimmer who has personally faced the challenge of sharing a locker room with a man, in addition to being part of a family that has experienced the intrusion of private spaces designated for women, I strongly urge the Illinois legislature to pass HB 5830 this year. Words like ‘woman’ and ‘female’ are not controversial and have been commonly understood to mean biological woman. Today, the attempt by a radical minority to erase our rights as women and rob us of our athletic titles and privacy is unjust. I am thankful the Freedom Caucus is taking a firm stance against this ludicrous movement and standing with women!”

Independent Women’s Ambassador and former University of Pennsylvania NCAA Swimmer Paula Scanlan said, “I am so thankful to the Illinois Freedom Caucus for bringing forward HB 5830. As I crisscross the country advocating for legislation inspired by Independent Women’s Voice’s Women’s Bill of Rights, one thing becomes more and more apparent: Every state needs to define ‘male’ and ‘female’ terms, especially in the wake of the Biden Administrations dangerous rewrite of Title IX. Without codifying sex-based words, states are allowing their females to be subjected to sex discrimination. Rather than allowing women’s rights to erode right before our eyes the Illinois Freedom Caucus is choosing to stand with women.”

Women’s Bill of Rights model legislation, first announced in March 2022, was drafted by Independent Women’s Voice and Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) in collaboration with the feminist organization Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF).

www.iwv.org 

Independent Women’s Voice fights for women by expanding support for policy solutions that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance freedom, opportunities, and well-being.

www.illinoisfreedomcaucus.org

The Illinois Freedom Caucus is comprised of State Representatives Chris Miller (R-Hindsboro), chairman; Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City), vice-chairman; Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich); Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville); Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur); Jed Davis (R-Newark); and David Friess (R-Red Bud). The members of the Illinois Freedom Caucus are members of the Illinois General Assembly who are advocating for limited government, lower taxes and accountability, and integrity in government.