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Springfield, IL reinstates civil union partner benefits after public outcry

Springfield, IL reinstates civil union partner benefits after public outcry

After raising a firestorm of anger and disbelief, the Springfield, Illinois Joint Labor/Management Insurance Committee voted to unanimously reinstate health benefits for the civil union partners of city employees. This was a complete reversal from the December decision that shocked and angered LGBT activists and civil rights organizations. The committee had voted to keep its…

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Video Update: Thursday's Prop 8 Hearing Cheat Sheet

Video Update: Thursday’s Prop 8 Hearing Cheat Sheet

California’s marriage equality-stripping Proposition 8 is back in the courts on Thursday, Dec 5th. Marriage News Watch’s Matt Baume, of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), gives a great update on the nationally important Prop 8 trial and what to expect at the proceedings. Perry v. Schwarzenegger is in the 9th Circuit Court of…

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Illinois Civil Union tax loophole fixed: Couples get joint tax-filing

Illinois Civil Union tax loophole fixed: Couples get joint tax-filing

In a big reversal from the Illinois Department of Revenue, couples who have entered into civil unions will be able to jointly file their 2011 state tax returns. Illinois recently moved to offer statewide protections supposedly equal, but separate, to marriage with the passage of the ‘Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act.’ The…

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Breaking down the DOMA Repeal Vote, Part 2: Why it matters to the movement

Breaking down the DOMA Repeal Vote, Part 2: Why it matters to the movement

In part 1 of “Breaking down the DOMA Repeal Vote,” we looked at the difficult legislative path ahead for the “Respect for Marriage Act” (RFA) that the Senate Judiciary Committee passed last week which would repeal the anti-gay “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA). With all the roadblocks and uncertainty around the actual passage of the…

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Breaking down the DOMA Repeal Vote, Part 1: Where the bill goes from here

Breaking down the DOMA Repeal Vote, Part 1: Where the bill goes from here

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-8 to pass the “Respect for Marriage Act” (RFA). This legislation, introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), would repeal the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA), which bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages. The vote was down strict party lines, with the 10 Democrats voting for repeal of…

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Catholic Charities ends Illinois adoption lawsuit

Catholic Charities ends Illinois adoption lawsuit

The legal battle between Catholic Charities and the state of Illinois over the organization’s state-funded adoption and foster care contracts, and their refusal to grant those services to same-sex couples in civil unions, is finally over. The dioceses of Joliet, Springfield, and Belleville released a statement saying they were withdrawing their lawsuit with “reluctance.” Illinois…

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DOMA repeal vote in Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday

DOMA repeal vote in Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on the ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein. This legislation would repeal the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act,’ which bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages. DOMA’s impact is far reaching for same-sex couples, affecting Social Security survivor benefits after a spouse passes away, the…

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Queer the Census: Visibility Matters

Queer the Census: Visibility Matters

I recently posted about a comprehensive new study on LGBT families and the impact that discriminatory laws have on the children of same-sex couples. One of the solutions that the study came up with to combat this impact was increased visibility and expanded research & reporting on LGBT people. A campaign by the National Gay…

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Comprehensive new study on LGBT families: All Children Matter

Comprehensive new study on LGBT families: All Children Matter

A comprehensive and important new study has just been released about LGBT families. All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families brings together a coalition of LGBT leaders, policy experts and child advocates that includes the Movement Advancement Project, the Family Equality Council, the Center for American Progress, the National Association of…

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Catholic Charities denied stay in Illinois adoption contract case

Catholic Charities denied stay in Illinois adoption contract case

The ongoing legal battle between Catholic Charities and the state of Illinois over the organization’s state-funded contracts, and their refusal to grant adoption and foster care services to same-sex couples in civil unions, continues with the church losing another round. Circuit Judge John Schmidt, who ruled earlier that the state does not have to renew…

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