The policy arm of the Catholic Church in Illinois is lining up opposition to gay marriage legislation that lawmakers plan to call early next month.
Robert Gilligan is executive director of Catholic Conference of Illinois, which represents nearly 4 million Catholics in the state. He says marriage is unique because it's a union between two genders and "same-sex marriage goes against nature."
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has announced a challenge grant of $50,000 for Equality Wisconsin to work on marriage equality, the organization announced Dec. 14.
Abele, in a statement from EW, said, "I'm proud to support Equality Wisconsin in their effort to allow gay and lesbian couples to celebrate their love and commitment to each other. I know Wisconsin is ready to embrace the idea of fidelity for everyone and allowing longtime partners to make a lifetime commitment to each other."
U.S. Sen.-elect Tammy Baldwin, D, will serve on several high-profile committees in the 113th Congress.
She’s assigned to the Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; the Budget Committee; the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Senate Special Committee on Aging.
Illinois state Rep. Greg Harris and state Sen. Heather Steans, the chief sponsors of the state's gay marriage bill, said Dec. 13 that they want to call for a vote on the measure in early 2013.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, D, has said before that he'd like to sign the proposed measure – the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act – as early as January.
Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl has given his final speech from the floor of the U.S. Senate.
The retiring Democrat delivered brief farewell remarks on Dec. 13. He remembered some of his late colleagues with whom he served in his 24 years as a senator, and he thanked his current colleagues for their service.
Republican Congressman Todd Akin was outspent more than 3-to-1 and owes almost $270,000 after his unsuccessful challenge of Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, according to federal finance reports available online.
Akin’s committee spent a little over $6 million on his Senate campaign, far shy of the $19.3 million spent by McCaskill.
Guinness World Records listed the top record-breaking events of 2012, including a viral Tweet from the president's re-election campaign, a viral video from a South Korean pop star, as well as a death-defying leap from space and a remarkable meet-up.
The list from Guinness, in no particular order:
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said this week that he supports gay marriage as a “fundamental right,” taking an emphatic stand on the issue months after President Barack Obama declared that same-sex couples should be allowed to wed.
When Obama came out in support of gay marriage in May, Reed said he was still “wrestling” with the issue even though he supported gay rights overall and previously voiced support for civil unions.
The nation's largest LGBT civil rights group on Dec. 14 responded to the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said, "The entire HRC family mourns today’s horrific tragedy in Newtown. We extend condolences, thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims as well as to the entire state of Connecticut which is still reeling from this senseless act violence. We note with sadness that it was less than a week since two innocent lives were lost at a mall in Oregon, and we offer our well-wishes and support to law enforcement officials investigating these truly heinous crimes."
A Texas man will serve life in prison without parole after his capital murder conviction in the deaths of his daughter’s girlfriend and the girlfriend’s mother.
The Austin American-Statesman reports a Travis County jury deliberated about an hour before returning its verdict against Jose Alfonso Aviles.
UPDATED Dec. 13: Charlie Crist, who has become a Democrat after being a Republican and an independent, says he regrets his anti-gay positions when he served as governor of Florida.
Crist, in a conversation with reporters on Dec. 13, said he regretted supporting a campaign to amend the state's constitution to ban same-sex marriage. He signed the petition supporting the amendment but said he wouldn't have signed the same petition today.
Gov. Rick Perry threw his support this week behind legislation that would ban abortion in Texas after 20 weeks, the point at which he says a fetus can feel pain.
The Legislature, which will reconvene Jan. 8 for a 140-day session that occurs every two years, also will consider a bill that would require physicians who perform abortions to have an agreement with a nearby hospital, allowing them to admit a patient in case of an emergency, Perry said.