Posts Tagged As: Illinois
July 28th, 2016
Twelve states, led by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, have filed a brief in federal court supporting the Obama Administration’s policies to include non-discrimination protections for transgender students and employees under current civil rights laws which prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender. The brief was filed in the Northern District of Texas, where Texas is the lead plaintiff on behalf of thirteen states in a lawsuit seeking to block the Obama Administration’s policies.
According to Dominic Holden at Buzzfeed:
“The bottom line is that the federal guidance at issue here threatens no imminent harm,” reads a draft of the brief provided to BuzzFeed News.
The filing is led by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, whose brief adds that federal protections for transgender people are “strongly in the public interest.”
Ferguson elaborated on getting involved in the litigation in an interview with BuzzFeed News, explaining, “I think this case could go all the way to the Supreme Court, and I want to make sure the trial court has our perspective and the perspective of like-minded states.”
I haven’t seen a copy of the brief. Buzzfeed reports that the brief argues, “Contrary to Plaintiffs’ claims, our shared experience demonstrates that protecting the civil rights of our transgender friends, relatives, classmates, and colleagues creates no public safety threat and imposes no meaningful financial burden.”
States joining Washington’s brief are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, as well as Washington, DC. All but New Hampshire and New York cover gender identity in addition to sexual orientation under their non-discrimination laws. New York has recently extended gender identity protections under regulations implemented by the state’s Division of Human Rights, which enforces the state’s non-discrimination laws.
Twelve other states have joined Texas in its federal lawsuit, and nine others have joined a a similar lawsuit being led by Nebraska. Two lawsuits in North Carolina seek to enjoin the Obama Administration from implementing its transgender protection policies.
Two others lawsuits have been lodged against North Carolina over HB2, which prohibits municipalities from enacting local non-discrimination ordinances based on either sexual orientation or gender identity, and which requires transgender people to use the rest room based on the gender listed on their birth certificates.
On Tuesdsay, Federal District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder set a November 14 trial date to consider whether the four North Carolina lawsuits should be tried jointly or organized in a different manner. But moments ago, the ACLU, which joined with Lambda Legal to represent plaintiffs in one of those lawsuits challenging HB2 has sent out a press release saying that Judge Schroeder will hear arguments on Monday, August 1, on a motion for a preliminary injunction blocking the state from enforcing its anti-transgender provisions.
June 9th, 2016
A small bomb exploded in the women’s bathroom at a Target store in Evanston on Wednesday, and officials are investigating whether it’s connected to the company’s policy allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice.
Thankfully, no one was in the restroom when the explosion went off a little after 4:00 yesterday afternoon outside of Chicago. Police say a plastic bottle was used, but no nails or projectiles were inside. The restroom sustained minor damage.
December 10th, 2014
The state of Illinois and the gay community has lost a treasure. (Chicago Tribune)
Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, long one of the state’s most colorful and outspoken elected officials, died early Wednesday of complications from a stroke she suffered Tuesday, her chief of staff said. Ms. Topinka was 70.
Illinois politics has always been a carnival, providing colorful characters and unexpected storylines. Tales of shady dealings abound. Some still insist that voter fraud by Mayor Daley won the 1960 election for Kennedy and no one seems at all surprised that four of the last seven governors went to jail for fraud or racketeering or blatantly trying to sell government positions to the highest bidder.
The Illinois Republican Party has also been a whirl of grand-scale spectacle where in the past few decades much of the brouhaha has been over social issues, particularly gay rights.
The stomping grounds of such characters as Peter LaBarbera, the Prairie State GOP has it’s share of anti-gay activists. But it also is home to Senator Kirk, a marriage supporter, and former state party chairman Pat Brady who in 2013 was an active campaigner for the marriage equality bill.
Republicans in the Land of Lincoln are not, on the whole, pro-gay. But there is a far greater tolerance for pro-gay politicians there than in many GOP circles. And no small part of that is due to Judy Baar Topinka, a GOP politician who never balked at letting her support of the community be known.
In many respects, Ms. Topinka could be considered the matriarch of the moderate wing of the state Republican Party. A fiscal conservative, she was an early advocate of abortion and gay rights, positions which often put her at odds with members of the socially conservative wing of the GOP.
“I don’t know that I was ever the choice of the party regulars,” Topinka said during her 2006 run for governor. “One fellow told me, ‘You are never going to get anywhere. You don’t run with the big dogs.’ OK, well, you know, now, the big dogs are either retired, dead or in prison. So here I am.”
Topinka started her career as a news reporter and in 1980 she ran for state representative. After two terms, she was elected to the state senate and then to the position of State Treasurer, where she served for 18 years. From 2002 to 2005, she served as the Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party and in 2006 Topinka was the GOP nominee for Governor, losing to Rod Blagojevich.
In 2010 she was elected State Comptroller, a position to which she was reelected last month.
Topinka was a unique character. In a heavily partisan state, she was a maverick who spoke her mind, didn’t mince words, and would accept the ideas of anyone who would help her achieve her goals. In a world of polished politicians, she shopped at resale stores and garage sales and played polka on the accordion.
And she earned the respect of those of all political persuasion who worked with her.
And for much of her political career, she was a visible advocate for the community. A regular in the pride parades and seen campaigning in gay bars, Topinka used her position to help the community achieve funding for the construction of a community center. She was a supporter of the marriage bill and was on the dais when Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill.
Thank you, Judy, and rest in peace.
April 21st, 2014
Pat Brady, the chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, started 2013 off with a bang by announcing that he was lobbying state legislators to support marriage equality. While this received immediate reaction, the situation did not play out as might have been expected.
There was movement for Brady’s removal and some members of the state central committee called for a vote on his ouster. But this effort did not receive support from party leadership and both the GOP House Leader and US Senator Mark Kirk (who has endorsed equality, himself) supported Brady.
Eventually, Brady resigned from the position. But not before it became clear that he did so on his own volition and that the ouster effort did not have the necessary votes to remove him. Only seven of the 18 committee members signed onto a letter demanding his removal.
In November the state legislature passed a marriage equality bill, by a narrow margin, with the necessary support of three GOP representatives. Anti-gay activists vowed that they’d pay for their “betrayal” at the polls. Last month Republican voters rejected primary challenges to all three.
And now it appears that the social agenda activism of the anti-gay committee members has placed them on the outs in Illinois GOP politics. (Daily Journal)
A crop of Republican officials who wanted to oust former Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady for his statements supporting same-sex marriage have been replaced in their party positions.
Illinois Republicans across the state held elections for all 18 state central committee member posts this week, replacing six of the seven officials who signed on to a letter last year to hold a vote on removing Brady as chairman. The seventh person to sign the letter, Mark Shaw of the 10th Congressional District, was re-elected to a four-year term.
I think it is now clear that irrespective of what they may individually believe about marriage, Illinois Republican voters have no stomach for continuing a culture war against the rights of their gay neighbors.
March 19th, 2014
Remember when marriage equality passed in Illinois with the (necessary) support of a handful of Republicans. And remember how the anti-gays pledged to destroy the GOP traitors and replace them with true loyal purveyors of discrimination and hate.
Well, there’s this (WaPo)
None of the Republicans who voted for gay marriage lost.
When the Illinois state House passed a bill to legalize gay marriage last fall, just three out of 47 Republicans voted for it. On Tuesday, none of them lost. State Rep. Tom Cross (R) cruised to a 14-point victory in the primary for state treasurer while state Rep. Ed Sullivan (R) easily won renomination in his district. The third, state Rep. Ron Sandack (R), narrowly edged out his opponent by fewer than 200 votes, according to an unofficial tally. The close margin could mean the race goes to a recount. Sandack and Sullivan both faced pressure from third-party groups looking to oust them over their gay marriage votes. In Sandack’s case, the issue became a central focus. Had the three Republicans lost, it would have probably given pause to Republicans considering backing gay marriage in other states where the matter comes up in the future. But given two decisive wins and a third tentative victory, gay rights advocates have a lot to be happy about a day after the election.
March 5th, 2014
Following the recent ruling by a Federal Judge allowing same-sex marriages to begin in Cook County without waiting for Illinois’s marriage equality law to go into effect in June, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has issued a letter encouraging County Clerks statewide to begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples:
Madigan spelled out her position in a letter to the Macon County clerk’s office, which sought legal guidance following a Feb. 21 ruling from U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman. The ruling allows Cook County same-sex couples to get married now, before a state law on the matter that takes effect June 1.
In the letter, Madigan said other counties were not bound by last month’s ruling, but that her office expects it “to be persuasive” to other courts addressing the matter. If a couple sues an Illinois county after being denied a marriage license before the law otherwise takes effect, she said, her office would intervene on the side of the plaintiffs and argue that the denial is unconstitutional.
February 21st, 2014
A Federal judge in Chicago rulled today that same-sex couples don’t have to wait until Illinois’s marriage equality law goes into effect in June to get married:
There is no reason to delay further when no opposition has been presented to this Court and committed gay and lesbian couples have already suffered from the denial of their fundamental right to marry,” U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said in her ruling.
…Cook County Clerk David Orr said his office will issue licenses immediately at the downtown office, and couples can get married as soon as Saturday.
Because the Cook County Clerk’s office was the named defendant in the class action lawsuit, the decision applies only to Cook County.
Update: The Cook County Clerk’s office has announced that they will stay open late for an extra two hours until 7:00 p.m. tonight. The announcement also quotes County Clerk David Orr: “I’m thrilled same-sex couples who want to get married won’t have to wait any longer. We are very excited to celebrate this historic milestone with every loving couple from today onward.”
November 26th, 2013
A Federal District Court took the unusual step in ordering the state of Illinois to issue a marriage license to a lesbian couple, one of whom is terminally ill, so the couple can marry without waiting until marriage equality becomes legal there in June of next year. U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin signed a temporary restraining order yesterday ordering Cook County Clerk David Orr to gant a marriage license to Vernita Gray, 64, and Patricia Ewert, 65:
Even though the Cook County couple entered into a civil union in 2011, Gray and Ewert wish to marry in Illinois before Gray passes away. Erik Roldon, a spokesperson for Lambda Legal, said now that the couple has the temporary restraining order, they could marry as soon as Wednesday.
In a statement, Gray expressed tremendous joy that she’d finally be able to marry her long-time partner in their home state.
“I have two cancers, bone and brain and I just had chemo today — I am so happy to get this news,” Gray said. “I’m excited to be able to marry and take care of Pat, my partner and my family, should I pass.”
Doctors say Gray may have only weeks to live. This is believed to be the first time that a federal judge has ordered a state to provide a marriage license to a same-sex couple. Last July, a federal judge in Cincinnati ordered the state of Ohio to recognize the marriage of a gay couple who married in Maryland, one of whom was terminally ill with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). He passed away
November 21st, 2013
While most protest to the marriage bill was celebrating an exorcism, the Chicago Police cordoned off a space in front of the UIC Forum – where the signing ceremony was being held – for protest, should anyone wish to do so. And look who showed up, our old buddy Peter LaBarbera, the head of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality.
Poor, poor Peter. He looks a bit lonely.
(photo shamelessly stolen from Joe.My.God)
November 21st, 2013
While the marriage bill was being signed, those who oppose equality as being contrary to the procreative purpose of marriage met in Springfield at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to join celibate Bishop Thomas Paprocki for a rather unusual response: an exorcism.
Speaking in a language that has for 1,000 years been spoken only by those who vow not to marry, Paprocki commanded that “every unclean sprit, every power of darkness, every incursion of the infernal enemy, every diabolical legion, cohort and faction” be gone.
But evidence suggests that the command may not have been effective as he himself did not immediately disappear in a puff of purple smoke
November 21st, 2013
Yesterday Illinois Governor Pat Quinn took pens in hand and signed the state’s marriage equality bill into law. (Trib)
Playing master of ceremonies during an hourlong event, the re-election-seeking Democratic governor slowly signed the bill with 100 pens that quickly became souvenirs. He did so at a desk shipped from Springfield that the administration said President Abraham Lincoln used to write his first inaugural address in 1861 — a speech on the cusp of the Civil War that called on Americans to heed “the better angels of our nature.”
But it was another Lincoln speech that Quinn referenced as he spoke to about 2,300 supporters gathered at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“In the very beginning of the Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln of Illinois said that our nation was conceived in liberty. And he said it’s dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, and that’s really what we’re celebrating today,” he said. “It’s a triumph of democracy.”
The ceremony also featured Greg Harris, primary sponsor of the bill, and others including Judy Baar Topinka, the only state-wide elected Republican in Illinois.
Quinn’s signature brings the total number of states with legalized same-sex marriage to 16 (plus the District of Columbia) and the total number of people living in an equality state to 115 million, or 38% of the US population.
In addition, three states (Oregon, Nevada, and Colorado) offer Domestic Partnerships with all of the state rights and obligations, but none of the Federal.
The law is slated to go into effect on June 1, 2014. However, Sen. Don Harmon (D – Oak Park) is considering a bill which would make the law effective immediately.
November 6th, 2013
Although the Illinois Senate had previously passed marriage equality, amendments in the House required a second vote. (NYT)
The measure passed the Illinois Senate in February, but for procedural reasons it had to be voted on there again. On Tuesday, the Senate quickly approved changes the House made to the bill, sending it to the desk of Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat who has said he will sign it. Illinois couples could begin marrying on June 1.
November 5th, 2013
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 5, 2013
November 5th, 2013
Today the Illinois House put our state on the right side of history. #IL4M
— Governor Pat Quinn (@GovernorQuinn) November 5, 2013
— Governor Pat Quinn (@GovernorQuinn) November 5, 2013
Illinois is a place that embraces all people and today, we are an example for the nation.
— Governor Pat Quinn (@GovernorQuinn) November 5, 2013
November 5th, 2013
Hmm, do we now go to Boystown and party because same sex marriage is legal or do we sit on the couch and watch TV like a married couple?
— LZ Granderson (@Locs_n_Laughs) November 5, 2013
I already sound like grandpa when I tell the youngsters that back in my day we gays had to get married in NYC, Boston, or Des Moines.
— randy r. potts (@thephatic) November 5, 2013
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.