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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GOP urges Ill. candidate to withdraw after blaming bad weather on gay rights

Friday, January 24, 2014
Daily HeraldSusanne Atanus
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — Illinois Republican officials are calling for a Chicago-area congressional candidate to leave the GOP race after she blamed bad weather on legalized abortions and gay rights, but Susanne Atanus said she won't back down. [...]

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GOP lawmakers propose bills to amend, repeal marriage equality in Illinois

Friday, January 24, 2014
Kyle McCarter
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Two Republican lawmakers have already proposed bills to amend or repeal Illinois’ recently approved marriage equality law before it is set to take effect in June. [...]

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Candidate: Autism, dementia are God’s punishment for abortion, gay marriage

Thursday, January 23, 2014
Daily HeraldSusanne Atanus
CHICAGO – A Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives says that autism and dementia are punishments from God, who is angry over abortion and same-sex marriage. [...]

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Ill. innkeeper expects more legal troubles when he refuses to host gay weddings

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Jim Walder
PAXTON, Ill. — The owner of an Illinois inn who is the subject of a civil rights complaint for refusing to host same-sex civil union ceremonies, says he will refuse to allow same-sex weddings when the state's marriage equality law takes effect in June. [...]

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Obama nominates out lesbian attorney to federal court in Illinois

Friday, January 17, 2014
Staci Michelle Yandle
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama has nominated out lesbian attorney Staci Michelle Yandle to serve in the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, the White House announced on Thursday. [...]

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Retaliation for same-sex marriage support not a 2014 Ill. primary issue – yet

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
The Illinois House votes 61-54 to legalize same-sex marriage.
CHICAGO -- When Illinois lawmakers considered a landmark vote on same-sex marriage, religious and conservative groups vowed to retaliate against those who voted in favor by grooming potential primary challengers in next year's elections. [...]

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Judge OKs Illinois same-sex marriages in cases of life-threatening illnesses

Monday, December 16, 2013
Photos: Charles Rex Arbogast, APPatricia Ewert, left, and Vernita Gray, right, stand before Cook County Judge Patricia Logue, center, as she presides over their wedding ceremony.
CHICAGO -- Gay couples who want to wed immediately in Illinois because one partner has a life-threatening illness could do so starting Monday, rather than waiting until the state's same-sex law takes effect in June. [...]

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Bill allowing Ill. gay weddings to take effect sooner than June may see vote

Thursday, November 28, 2013
Photos: Charles Rex Arbogast, APPatricia Ewert, left, and Vernita Gray, right, stand before Cook County Judge Patricia Logue, center, as she presides over their wedding ceremony.
CHICAGO -- A same-sex couples' expedited marriage license could mean the start of other efforts to move up the effective date of Illinois' new same-sex marriage law. [...]

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Terminally ill woman, partner exchange vows in Illinois’ first same-sex wedding

Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Charles Rex Arbogast, APHolding their Illinois marriage license, Vernita Gray, left, and Patricia Ewert kiss after they were married by Cook County Judge Patricia Logue, the first gay marriage in Illinois, at the couple's home Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, in Chicago.
CHICAGO -- Two Chicago women on Wednesday became the first same-sex couple to say their vows in Illinois after a federal judge granted an expedited marriage license because of one woman's ailing health. [...]

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Terminally ill woman, partner to be first same-sex couple to marry in Illinois

Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Timmy Samuel, Courtesy of Starbelly Studios (AP)This June 2011photo provided by Starbelly Studios in Chicago shows Vernita Gray, left, and Patricia Ewert smiling during their civil union ceremony at Millennium Park in Chicago.
CHICAGO -- Even as they celebrated their home state becoming the 16th to legalize same-sex marriage, Chicago couple Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert couldn't help but feel bitter disappointment: Marriages cannot legally start in Illinois until June 1, 2014, a day one of them might not live to see. [...]

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