New & Noteworthy:

Illinois

Illinois is the 21st U.S. state, admitted to the Union on December 3, 1818. Its most populous city is Chicago, and the state capitol is located in Springfield.

LGBT Rights in Illinois: Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Illinois on June 1, 2014, under a bill passed in the state legislature and signed by Gov. Pat Quinn on Nov. 20, 2013. Illinois has protected LGBT persons from discrimination since 2006, based on legislation enacted in 2005. Illinois has recognized hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or heterosexual persons since 2001. The law does not protect attacks based on gender identity as such, but gender identity cases can be prosecuted as perceived sexual orientation cases since the state criminalizes attacks based on one's actual or perceived sexual orientation. The state permits adoption by gay individuals or partners, including second-parent adoptions.

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Pope Francis chooses moderate bishop to lead Chicago archdiocese

| Saturday, September 20, 2014
Bishop Blase Cupich
As the leader of two American dioceses, Roman Catholic Bishop Blase Cupich has staked out a firm position in the middle of the road. He has spoken out against same-sex marriage and against conservative hostility toward gay rights advocates. He has opposed abortion, while urging parishioners and priests to have patience, not disdain, for those who disagree...

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Ill. couple sues cab company after driver tried to kick them out of taxi for kissing

| Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Matthew McCrea and Steven White
CHICAGO -- An Illinois couple is continuing their fight against a Chicago cab company after they claim a driver tried to kick them out of his taxi for kissing in the backseat. Matthew McCrea and Steven White have filed a lawsuit against Sun Taxi after their original complaint, filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights last October, was dismissed because the department said...

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Catholic Church fires music director over plans to marry same-sex partner

| Thursday, July 31, 2014
Colin Collette, left, and Will Nifong, in Rome where the couple got engaged.
INVERNESS, Ill. -- The longtime music director at a suburban Chicago Roman Catholic church says he was fired after posting on social media plans to marry his same-sex partner. Colin Collette says his partner proposed to him last week in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. After leading the music on Sunday ...

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Ill. warns insurers about discriminating against transgender people

| Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The state of Illinois has cautioned insurers about discriminating against transgender people. The Illinois Department of Insurance bulletin issued to insurers this week details nondiscrimination provisions in the federal Affordable Care Act along with Illinois laws. Backers say the move was prompted by concerns for transgender people's rights...

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Report: More than 5,000 same-sex marriages in Illinois

| Thursday, July 10, 2014
Illinois
CHICAGO -- A survey indicates thousands of same-sex couples are marrying in Illinois. In a news release, Equality Illinois reports that a survey of all 102 Illinois counties revealed that at least 3,274 marriage licenses have been issued and another 1,694 civil unions were converted to marriages.

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Old Ill. marriage law disappoints many out-of-state same-sex couples

| Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Illinois-marriage
A provision in Illinois' marriage law is resulting in disappointment for many same-sex couples in neighboring states hoping to cross the border to obtain a marriage license. Enacted years before same-sex marriage became legal in Illinois, the law states law states that a marriage license is void if that couple is barred from marrying in the state where they live.

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Anti-gay group planning worldwide conference in Salt Lake City

| Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY -- An international conservative group that opposes homosexuality is planning its first worldwide conference in the U.S. next year - a four-day gathering in Utah, a state that has become a focal point in the gay marriage movement. The World Congress of Families is based in Rockford, Illinois, and has about 40 partner organizations...

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Season of Pride: More than one million pack Chicago streets for LGBT Pride

| Sunday, June 29, 2014
Charlie Gurion, left, kisses his husband David Wirk at the 45th Annual Chicago Pride Parade in Chicago, Sunday, June 29, 2014. Gurion and Wirk were the first same-sex  couple to marry in Cook County on Feb. 21, 2014.
CHICAGO -- More than one million people packed Chicago streets Sunday for the first Gay Pride Parade since Illinois legalized same-sex marriage statewide this month, making the annual event one of the largest in the U.S. Many who came early to grab a good spot along the route said the new law makes this year's parade more festive...

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Ill. marriage equality advocates criticize GOP candidate’s opposition

| Friday, June 27, 2014
Bruce-Rauner-banner--2
CHICAGO -- Gay rights supporters are using the upcoming Chicago Pride Parade to draw attention to Republican Bruce Rauner's statements that he would have vetoed Illinois' same-sex marriage bill. Equality Illinois on Thursday unveiled a two-story banner featuring a photo of the GOP gubernatorial candidate and comments he made about the law.

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U.S. Senate confirms two openly gay nominees to the federal bench

| Tuesday, June 17, 2014
gay-judges
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed two openly gay nominees to the federal bench, the White House announced. Darrin Gayles was confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and Staci Yandle was confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

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