In the wake of NBA basketball star Jason Collins' coming out as gay, the Chicago City Council is considering a resolution supporting gay athletes.
Aldermen held public hearings on the issue Tuesday.
The resolution encourages commissioners from the four major sports leagues to state their support for gay players, invite them to come out, and to ensure their safety.
"It's so, so important that we stand up for this last group that experiences so much prejudice, those in sports," said Ald. James Cappleman (46th).
If passed, Chicago would become just the second city to declare its backing for gay or transgendered athletes. San Francisco was the first.
The deputy commissioner of the NHL, composed of U.S. and Canadian teams, said last week he was not personally aware of any gay players in the league but made it clear the NHL is treating any coming out as a high priority.
The full council is expected to address the issue at Wednesday's meeting.