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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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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Judge orders expedited marriage license so terminally ill woman can wed partner

| Monday, November 25, 2013
CHICAGO -- The U.S. District Court in Chicago has ordered Cook County's clerk to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, one of whom is terminally ill.

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Illinois governor Pat Quinn signs marriage equality bill into law

| Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, center, signs the state's marriage equality bill into law on Nov. 20, 2013. The measure goes into effect statewide June 1, 2014.
CHICAGO -- Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Wednesday allowing same-sex weddings starting this summer, making President Barack Obama's home state the 16th overall - and largest in the nation's heartland - to legalize gay marriage.

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Illinois governor to sign marriage equality bill into law

| Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Pat Quinn
CHICAGO -- When Gov. Pat Quinn signs a landmark law allowing same-sex marriage in the state, he'll be incorporating a piece of Illinois history.

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Cardinal George blasts gay marriage in letter to all Chicago-area Catholics

| Sunday, November 17, 2013
Cardinal Francis George
CHICAGO -- One of the most high-profile religious leaders who opposed Illinois' new same-sex marriage legislation says the law will have consequences for the church and society.

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Ill. Catholic bishop to hold gay marriage ‘exorcism’ when governor signs bill

| Thursday, November 14, 2013
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- A Roman Catholic bishop in Illinois said Thursday he will preside over a prayer service of “supplication and exorcism” next week to coincide with they ceremony in which Gov. Pat Quinn will sign the state's marriage equality bill into law.

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Lawsuit challenging Ill. same-sex marriage ban on hold

| Thursday, November 14, 2013
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.
CHICAGO -- A lawsuit challenging Illinois' ban on gay marriage is on hold until newly approved legislation allowing same-sex marriage takes effect next summer.

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Catholic Church yanks YMCA grant over relationship with pro-gay marriage group

| Tuesday, November 12, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Catholic Church is rescinding a $60,000 grant to the University YMCA in Champaign, Ill., because the organization has refused to cut ties with an LGBT support group that backs same-sex marriage in Illinois.

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