On Friday, Illinois House members joined Senators in approving an anti-bullying bill that includes sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Illinois House of Representatives – which includes 48 Republican members – voted unanimously in favor of the measure. The bill was approved in the Senate on March 24 over the objections of two Republicans: Minority Leader Christine Rodogno and Assistant Minority Leader J. Bradley Burzynksi.

Under the law, schools will be required to fight bullying by adopting anti-bullying policies and creating 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.”

While senators made quick work of the bill – going from introduction to approval in under eight weeks – representatives greatly upped the ante by approving the bill in just over four weeks. The measure was sponsored by Senator Kimberly A. Lightford in the Senate and Representative Karen A. Yarbrough in the House. Both lawmakers are Democrats.

“This was a no-nonsense bill, and I am glad that it sailed quickly through both chambers of the legislature,” Cherkasov added.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign the bill.