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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Quinn, Emanuel attend Illinois same-sex marriage celebration

Sunday, June 8, 2014
Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Ill.) pays tribute to marriage equality advocates at a celebration in Chicago on June 8, 2014.
A swanky brunch paying tribute Sunday to those who helped pass Illinois' new same-sex marriage law wasn't free from election-year politics as organizers deemed Gov. Pat Quinn "the most pro-gay governor in the history of Illinois" and knocked his Republican re-election challenger.

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Cook County, Ill., reports 120 same-sex civil unions converted to marriages

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
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CHICAGO -- Cook County, Ill., Clerk David Orr says 120 same-sex couples converted civil unions to marriages Monday as Illinois' new marriage equality law took effect. The same law allowing same-sex marriage also allows same-sex couples to easily convert civil unions into marriages, and the couple's date of marriage is backdated to their date of civil union.

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Same-sex marriage becomes focus of Illinois’ governor’s race

Monday, June 2, 2014
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After weeks of focusing on Illinois' mammoth financial problems, the governor's race turned to the issue of same-sex marriage Monday as gay couples took vows under the state's new law. Gov. Pat Quinn attended one wedding ceremony while advocates accused his Republican challenger, Bruce Rauner, of being against efforts to legalize same-sex marriage.

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Gay rights group blasts Ill. gubernatorial candidate on gay marriage opposition

Monday, June 2, 2014
Bruce Rauner
CHICAGO -- Gay rights advocates are blasting Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner's stance on the issue as Illinois' new law allowing same-sex marriages takes effect statewide. Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov says the Winnetka businessman has opposed efforts for the new law and has previously vowed to work against them.

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

Monday, June 2, 2014
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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
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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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