Bride ban: Gay bar says ‘I don’t’ to bachelorettes

The Chicago Tribune
June 15, 2009
Bar owner Geno Zaharakis sat one busy evening at the window of his gay nightclub, watching as groups of straight women celebrating bachelorette parties made their way along a strip of bars in Chicago's gay-friendly "Boystown" neighborhood. That's when he made a decision now posted for all to see: "No Bachelorette Parties." "It is throwing it in our face that they can get married and we can't," said Dion Contreras, a 29-year-old Chicago litigation manager, while having a drink with friends. Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry, said while he agrees with Zaharakis' stand on marriage equality, he would express it differently. "I'd rather invite people in," Wolfson said. "Celebrate their happiness and ask them to take a stand for us by helping change the law." [Link]

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Illinois Civil Union Bill Moves to Final Reading Before House

eNews Park Forest
May 29, 2009
Senate Bill 1716 has moved to Third Reading, according to Illinois State Rep. Greg Harris. The bill will establish Civil Unions in Illinois. "Third reading" means the bill is read for a third and final time before the full chamber. After the sponsor explains the bill, members of the chamber can ask questions. When debate is completed, the chamber votes on the bill. [link]

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Vote Set on Illinois Civil Union Bill

Advocate.com
May 28, 2009
The Illinois house is scheduled to vote on a civil union bill Thursday with a scheduled break quickly approaching. Rep. Greg Harris's proposed bill would establish civil unions for both gay and straight couples that would provide a "substantially similar legal relationship" with the same responsibilities, benefits, and protections that married couples are already privy to. [link]

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Illinois poised to approve civil unions

Southern Voice
May 21, 2009

The Illinois General Assembly is expected to approve a measure next week that would legalize civil unions, according to an LGBT activist. Rick Garcia, political director for Equality Illinois, said Thursday he's "absolutely" expecting the full state House and the Senate to pass a civil union measure either Tuesday or Wednesday. The bill has support from Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D). [Link]

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Obama once backed full marriage equality

Windy City Times
January 13, 2009
During his run for Illinois state Senate in 1996, Barack Obama stated his unequivocal support for gay marriage, according to an exclusive story in the Jan. 14, 2009 Windy City Times newspaper. [Link]

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Commissioners advance benefits proposal for gay married couples who work for Cook County

Chicago Tribune
June 24, 2008
Same-sex couples who work for Cook County won't lose their benefits if they get married in other states under a proposal county commissioners advanced Tuesday. (Link)

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Marriages an inspiration, not ‘disaster’

Chicago Tribune
June 19, 2008
Eric Zorn discusses how his marriage was not affected by marriage equality in California, and indeed he is honored to share the institution with more loving and committed couples. (Link)

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Plan against marriage fails

State Journal Register
May 6, 2008

An anti-marriage group failed to qualify a discriminatory advisory referendum for the Illinois November ballot. (Link)

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Group pushing anti-gay referendum

Windy City Times
April 30, 2008

An anti-gay group is collecting signatures in Illinois to place a non-binding referendum on the November 2008 ballot against marriage, something they tried and failed to do in 2006. (Link)

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Marriage emphasized at reception

Windy City Times
February 21, 2007
The Sixth Annual Freedom to Marry Reception was hosted Feb. 15 in Chicago. The free reception was sponsored by Lambda Legal, Merrill Lynch, and The Aragon Ballroom, and spotlighted efforts to support equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples. [Link]

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