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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Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (red tie) stands on the floor of the Illinois House during the debate over same-sex marriage on Tuesday.

Ill. state leaders watch as lawmakers prepare to vote on marriage equality

Tuesday, November 5, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The state's top elected officials are watching lawmakers debate a bill that would add Illinois to 14 other states allowing same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]
Jehan Gordon-Booth

Momentum builds for Ill. marriage vote as another lawmaker vows support

Tuesday, November 5, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Suspense is building for a possible vote on legislation that could make Illinois the next state to legalize same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]
Illinois state capitol building in Springfield.

Marriage bill looms as Illinois lawmakers kick off final days of fall session

Tuesday, November 5, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Illinois lawmakers are convening in Springfield for the final three days of their annual fall session. [ Read more → ]
Illinois state house chamber

Clergy members, faith leaders ask Ill. House to pass gay marriage bill

Monday, November 4, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- A coalition of clergy members and faith leaders has sent a letter to Illinois House members encouraging them to support same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]
Illinois state capitol in Springfield.

Momentum builds for gay marriage vote in Illinois next week

Thursday, October 31, 2013
CHICAGO -- After months of energetic lobbying, both sides in the Illinois same-sex marriage debate are ready for a vote next week that supporters say would fulfill a pledge by the sponsor to bring the issue back to Springfield. [ Read more → ]
Chicago, Ill.

Suburban Chicago mayors back Ill. same-sex marriage legislation

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
GENEVA, Ill. -- Seven mayors from the Chicago suburbs are signing on in support of same-sex marriage legislation. [ Read more → ]
WBBM-TVSteven White (left) and Matt McCrea.

Lambda Legal sues after cab driver kicks out gay couple for exchanging a kiss

Monday, October 28, 2013
CHICAGO -- Lambda Legal on Monday filed a lawsuit on behalf a same-sex couple who were refused service and kicked out of a Chicago cab after they exchanged a kiss. [ Read more → ]
Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Ill.)

Ill. governor: Veto session valuable to ‘lay foundation’ on marriage legislation

Thursday, October 24, 2013
WHEELING, Ill. -- Gov. Pat Quinn says he's not discouraged that Illinois lawmakers came away from two days of their fall veto session without tackling any of the major issues on their agenda. [ Read more → ]

Gay marriage opponents invoke God, free speech at Illinois rally

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Busloads of gay marriage opponents held their own rally outside the Capitol Wednesday, pledging to reverse any headway in the push for state legislation that would allow same-sex weddings. [ Read more → ]

Thousands rally at Ill. state capitol to demand action on marriage equality bill

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Activists and supporters frustrated that Illinois still hasn't legalized same-sex marriages demanded swift action during a rally Tuesday at the state Capitol, as lawmakers returned to Springfield to deal with several other weighty issues. [ Read more → ]
Patrick Bova and Jim Darby, lead plaintiffs in the Lambda Legal suit, entered into a civil union in 2011.

Lawyers fighting against Ill. same-sex marriage case want case dismissed

Tuesday, October 8, 2013
CHICAGO -- Lawyers fighting a lawsuit by 25 same-sex couples seeking the right to marry in Illinois are making a new push to have the case dismissed. [ Read more → ]

Military veterans join effort to legalize marriage equality in Ill.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Illinois military veterans are joining the effort to legalize gay marriage in the state. [ Read more → ]

Caribou Coffee apologizes after erasing window art by local gay-straight alliance

Monday, September 30, 2013
NORTHBROOK, Ill. -- The Caribou Coffee chain is apologizing after a Chicago-area store erased window art completed by a local high school's gay-straight alliance. [ Read more → ]

Ill. judge rules lawsuit challenging same-sex marriage ban can proceed

Friday, September 27, 2013
CHICAGO -- A lawsuit seeking to overturn Illinois' ban on gay marriage can move forward in the courts, a judge ruled Friday, buoying hopes among some same-sex couples that it's just a matter of time before they can marry in their home state. [ Read more → ]

Ill. chapter of AFL-CIO votes to support same-sex marriage

Friday, September 27, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The executive board of the Illinois chapter of the AFL-CIO is supporting gay marriage. The board voted Thursday in Chicago to urge the Illinois House to adopt the "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act." The adopted resolution states the AFL-CIO joins faith... [ Read more → ]
Barbara Flynn Currie

Democratic leader urges Ill. House to support marriage equality bill

Sunday, September 22, 2013
CHICAGO — The second-ranking Democrat in the Illinois House has become the latest elected official urging lawmakers to support same-sex marriage as a matter of equality and as a boost for the state's economy. [ Read more → ]
Seth Perlman, APRandy Hannig, center, of Equality Illinois, hands out shirts supporting gay marriage and explains how people can help support the cause during the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, Ill. on August 14.

Illinois’ marriage equality advocates plan new campaign strategy

Friday, August 30, 2013
CHICAGO -- After their efforts to legalize gay marriage fizzled in Illinois this year, advocates gave their campaign a serious makeover: They called on unions, focused longer-term and recalibrated their message by using personal stories instead of civil rights comparisons. [ Read more → ]
Pat Brady

ACLU hires former Ill. GOP chairman to help legalize marriage equality

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
CHICAGO -- The American Civil Liberties Union has hired a consulting firm started by the Illinois Republican Party's former chairman to help with efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois. [ Read more → ]
Cardinal Francis George

Cardinal defends funding cuts for immigration groups that support gay marriage

Wednesday, August 7, 2013
CHICAGO -- Cardinal Francis George, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago, is defending his decision to bar church funding for immigrant rights groups that support same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]
Patrick Bova and Jim Darby, lead plaintiffs in the Lambda Legal suit, entered into a civil union in 2011.

Judge to decide in Sept. on whether to dismiss challenge to Ill. gay marriage ban

Tuesday, August 6, 2013
CHICAGO — A judge in Cook County, Ill., won’t decide until late September on whether to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the state’s same sex marriage ban. [ Read more → ]
Chicago, Ill.

Equality Illinois calls on Chicago to end relationship with Moscow

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
CHICAGO – Equality Illinois on Tuesday urged the City of Chicago to suspend its sister city relationship with Moscow as part of a concerted effort to protest Russia's criminalization of gay rights activism. [ Read more → ]

Ill. coalition launches statewide campaign to build support for same-sex marriage

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
CHICAGO -- Marriage equality supporters in Illinois are launching a $2 million statewide campaign aimed at legalizing same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]

Chicago police: Attack on lesbian couple an anti-gay hate crime

Thursday, July 11, 2013
CHICAGO -- A lesbian couple was attacked in a Chicago neighborhood on Saturday night by as many as 10 men who taunted them for being gay and took turns punching and kicking them on the dark street. [ Read more → ]

Couples in Lambda Legal, ACLU suit seek ruling on Ill. gay marriage ban

Wednesday, July 10, 2013
CHICAGO -- Twenty-five couples who filed a lawsuit challenging Illinois' ban on gay marriage asked a judge on Wednesday to rule quickly in their favor, saying a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down part of a law denying federal benefits to married gay couples creates a new urgency in the state. [ Read more → ]

Lambda Legal, ACLU to seek ‘swift ruling’ in challenge to Ill. gay marriage ban

Tuesday, July 9, 2013
CHICAGO -- Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois said Tuesday they plan to file a motion for summary judgment, asking for a swift ruling in an ongoing lawsuit seeking to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois. [ Read more → ]
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