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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Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Ill.)

Illinois governor hopes marriage equality bill goes forward next month

Monday, December 10, 2012
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn told reporters Monday he hopes Illinois lawmakers will send a marriage equality bill to his desk during the early January lame duck session. [ Read more → ]

Court denies anti-gay groups’ efforts to intervene in Ill. marriage equality lawsuit

Friday, November 30, 2012
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Sophia Hall rejected motions to intervene in the trial challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage Friday by two anti-gay churches and the Illinois Family Institute, an anti-gay hate group. [ Read more → ]

Couples in Illinois gay marriage lawsuit urge state legislators to pass marriage equality bill

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Several gay and lesbian couples who are plaintiffs in a legal challenge to a state law prohibiting the recognition of same-sex marriages met with state legislators in Springfield Wednesday and urged them to vote for a bill that would legalize gay marriage in Illinois. [ Read more → ]
Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel: Gay marriage my third priority for Illinois Legislature

Friday, November 16, 2012
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ranked gay marriage No. 3 on his list of priorities for the State Legislature Tuesday, placing it behind pension reform and approving a Chicago casino, reported the Chicago Sun-Times. [ Read more → ]

Illinois school committee: ‘Our transgender policy could change the country’

Monday, November 12, 2012
AURORA, Ill. — An Ad Hoc committee of the East Aurora School District 131 convened for the first time Thursday to discuss its plans to create a new policy for protecting transgender students after a previous district policy was rescinded late last month. [ Read more → ]

GOP Tea Party favorite Joe Walsh loses Congressional seat

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
CHICAGO -- U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) was defeated tonight in his bid for re-election in Illinois' 8th Congressional district seat by former Veteran's Affairs Administration official and U.S. Army National Guard Reserve Lt. Colonel, Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat who lost both her legs during the Iraq war. [ Read more → ]
Anthony MartinezPhoto by Tony Merevick, Chicago Phoenix

Illinois advocacy group launches transgender rights initiative

Monday, November 5, 2012
The Civil Rights Agenda, a Chicago-based LGBT rights and policy advocacy group, announced Sunday the launch of a new project that will bring greater focus to advancing the rights of transgender and gender-variant communities in Illinois. [ Read more → ]
Terrance WrightFamily photo.

Two teens arrested in ‘robbery, homicide’ of openly gay student

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
CHICAGO -- Two teens have been arrested in the murder of an openly gay high school senior in what police are ruling a “robbery-turned-fatal-shooting," while the victim's family are calling it an anti-gay hate crime. [ Read more → ]

Equality Illinois: ‘The bullies won in East Aurora’

Saturday, October 20, 2012
Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, a statewide advocacy organization, commented Saturday on the decision by the East Aurora school board to rescind policy that supported transgender and gender nonconforming staff, faculty, and students. [ Read more → ]
Jamie Citron

Jamie’s ‘Personal Gay Holiday,’ I’m from Highland Park, Ill.

Saturday, October 20, 2012
When Jamie came out at 15, his boyfriend at the time wanted him to celebrate that day every year. He said, “Today is your personal coming out day. It’s your second birthday, it’s an important day you remember, and it’s something I want you to keep in mind and celebrate in some small way every year because it’s something you should be very proud of.” [ Read more → ]

East Aurora, Ill., school board flip-flops on transgender rights policy

Friday, October 19, 2012
AURORA — In a special meeting Friday evening, the East Aurora School Board voted to repeal a policy that would create protections for gender nonconforming students that they quickly and unanimously passed just five days ago. [ Read more → ]
Jerry, a 23-year-old Texan, said he underwent seven years of conversion therapy, according to an SPLC video.

Law, health groups target Illinois ‘ex-gay’ services social worker with complaint

Friday, October 12, 2012
The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Thursday, calling upon the department’s licensing board to investigate the practices of a Chicago-area social worker, who they say practices ”ex-gay” conversion therapy services. [ Read more → ]

Poll: Large majority of Illinois Catholics support same-sex unions

Thursday, October 4, 2012
After releasing poll data showing a 10-point increase in support for same-sex marriage among Illinoisans, the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University released new data Monday showing a majority of Illinois Catholics also approve of gay and lesbian unions. [ Read more → ]

Poll: More Illinoisans support same-sex marriage than two years ago

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Support for same-sex marriage equality among Illinoisans has grown by 10 points over the last two years, according to a poll conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University. [ Read more → ]

Chicago Police Department adopts transgender protections policy

Wednesday, September 5, 2012
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Police Department has enacted a general order that mandates protections for transgender people while in the custody of police and requires officers to be trained for the respectful treatment of transgender detainees. [ Read more → ]

Illinois legislators file brief opposing marriage equality, ongoing lawsuit

Monday, September 3, 2012
A bipartisan group of 11 Illinois legislators filed an amicus brief last week in support of a motion to dismiss the landmark lawsuit by Lambda Legal and the ACLU challenging the state’s marriage ban. [ Read more → ]
Donta Gooden

Second transgender female found murdered in Chicago’s ‘K-Town’

Friday, August 17, 2012
CHICAGO -- Police confirmed Friday that a body discovered in an abandoned building in a west side Chicago neighborhood known as K-Town was that of 19-year-old Donta Gooden, a transgender female. [ Read more → ]

Transgender woman settles discrimination suit with Illinois town

Monday, August 13, 2012
CICERO, Ill. -- A transgender woman who alleged that two Cicero police officers humiliated her and discriminated against her because of her gender identity has settled a lawsuit with the town for $10,000. Cicero also agreed to enact guidelines for the police treatment of transgender people, according to her attorneys. [ Read more → ]

Illinois Family Institute issues ridiculous back-to-school warnings for parents

Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Before you go back to school, the Illinois Family Institute wants to remind Christian parents everywhere how they can go after those damn teachers who challenge students’ thinking. No joke. Laurie Higgins‘ piece is entitled “Challenge teachers, not books” -- because, as we all know, teachers who discuss banned books are the real problems with our schools. [ Read more → ]
illustration by Cartoonist Chris Britt, Springfield Journal-Register

Anti-gay group warns parents to remove kids from classrooms led by LGBT teachers

Wednesday, August 8, 2012
CAROL STREAM, Ill. -- The anti-gay Christian group Illinois Family Institute has launched another campaign against LGBT Americans, telling parents to remove their children from classrooms led by any teacher who is gay or lesbian, or is a faculty sponsor of a gay-straight alliance, or who has utilized LGBT-inclusive textbooks, or offers a "safe" haven for LGBT students in their classrooms. [ Read more → ]
Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno

Chicago GOP calls for investigation into Alderman’s proposed Chick-fil-A ban

Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Chicago Republican Party leaders filed a complaint with Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois Department of Human Rights Wednesday, alleging that Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno violated provisions of the state’s Human Rights Act and the First Amendment, when he said he would block Chick-fil-A from opening its second Chicago location in his ward. [ Read more → ]

Illinois to allow transgender individuals to update birth certificate gender marker

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Civil rights advocates filed a court-supervised agreement Monday that will make it easier for transgender individuals in Illinois to get accurate birth certificates reflecting their gender. The agreement asks to end the requirement for genital surgery in order to change the gender marker. [ Read more → ]

Hundreds rally at Chicago’s first transgender pride event

Monday, July 30, 2012
CHICAGO -- Nearly 300 people attended Chicago's first transgender, gender-non-conforming and intersex pride event, held at Union Park Sunday. The intention of the rally was to focus on the theme of “enterprising from the margins,” highlighting community driven efforts to create safe spaces and support among the TGI community. [ Read more → ]

Illinois lawmakers want to ‘reaffirm’ state’s same-sex marriage ban

Thursday, July 26, 2012
Four Illinois lawmakers are pushing for a resolution introduced in the General Assembly last week that would “reaffirm” the state’s statute that prohibits the recognition of same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]

‘Hate group’ Illinois Family Institute moves to intervene in marriage lawsuit

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
The Illinois Family Institute, a Carol Stream-based anti-gay organization, has filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit challenging the state’s current marriage law, which prohibits the recognition of same-sex couples. The move by the organization makes it the second anti-gay group to get involved in the suit against marriage equality. [ Read more → ]
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