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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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VIDEO

Forty same-sex couples exchange vows in group wedding in Chicago park

| Monday, June 2, 2014
Chicago-group-wedding
Holding hands beneath thousands of soapy floating bubbles, 40 same-sex couples exchanged vows Sunday in a group wedding ceremony in Chicago's Rogers Park to celebrate the first day of marriage equality in Illinois.

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Ill. insurance marketplace to open special enrollment for married, gay couples

| Sunday, June 1, 2014
get-covered-illinois
CHICAGO — Illinois’ health insurance marketplace is now allowing married, gay and lesbian couples to enroll for private coverage. Now that same-sex marriage is legal in the state, Get Covered Illinois announced it will open up special enrollment periods for gay couples.

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Governor: Illinois is now ‘on the right side of history’

| Sunday, June 1, 2014
Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says the state is now "on the right side of history," as same-sex marriage becomes legal. The Chicago Democrat issued a statement Sunday, the first day of legal gay marriage in all of Illinois' 102 counties. He says Illinois has "always been a place to embrace all people."

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Marriage equality comes to Illinois after staggered start

| Sunday, June 1, 2014
Illinois
Gay and lesbian couples across Illinois can now legally wed as the state's law allowing same-sex marriage took effect Sunday. June 1 marked the first day all of Illinois' 102 counties could begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after a piecemeal start where some county officials began granting licenses months ago following a federal court ruling.

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The wait ends: Marriage equality in Illinois takes effect statewide on Sunday

| Saturday, May 31, 2014
M. Spencer Green, APIllinois Gov. Pat Quinn acknowledges the applause after signing the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act into law, making Illinois the 16th state in the nation to embrace full marriage equality for same sex couples, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, in Chicago.
The waiting ends Sunday, when Illinois' 102 counties may begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Gay couples and gay-rights advocates across the state will mark the date with blessing ceremonies and group weddings, and several county clerks offices will make an exception and offer office hours that day for license-seekers unwilling to wait until Monday morning.

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Ill. student leads dorm with goal of gender and diversity inclusion

| Sunday, May 4, 2014
Brandon Rohlwing of West Dundee leads the Gender and Diversity Inclusive Living Community dorm floor at Roosevelt University in Chicago.
As the son of a special-education teacher and an Illinois State Police officer Brandon Rohlwing says he tried to come across as just another typical suburban sports-loving, heterosexual boy during his middle-school years in West Dundee, Ill., but "some students saw through that and saw the real me," he says.

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Equality Illinois lists clergy ready to officiate same-sex wedding ceremonies

| Friday, April 25, 2014
A program and an Illinois rainbow flag is placed on a seat for spectators who witnessed Gov. Pat Quinn sign the marriage bill into law.
CHICAGO -- Equality Illinois, an LGBT advocacy group, has put together a list of religious clergy who are ready to perform same-sex marriages.

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Ill. GOP replaces six party officials who wanted to oust pro-gay marriage leader

| Saturday, April 19, 2014
Pat Brady
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- A crop of Republican officials who wanted to oust former Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady for his statements supporting same-sex marriage have been replaced in their party positions.

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‘Truth Wins Out’ founder launches Chicago radio program

| Friday, April 18, 2014
Wayne Besen
CHICAGO -- Author and human rights advocate Wayne Besen will kick off a new radio show, “I’ve Got Issues,” on Saturday on Chicago's WCPT, an independent progressive talk radio station.

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Cook County, Ill., approaches 1,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples

| Thursday, April 17, 2014
Illinois
CHICAGO -- Cook County, Ill., has issued almost 1,000 marriage licenses since it was allowed to do so by a court ruling.

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