President Obama is using his influence to push the Illinois General Assembly to pass a marriage equality bill, which Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has said he would sign into law.
Illinois already passed a civil-unions law last year, but equality advocates say that status offers only limited legal rights and confers second-class status.
As 2013 begins, many states are enacting new laws dealing with gay rights, child safety, abortion, immigration and other perennial concerns.
Some other topics states are dealing with in new laws:
New Jersey’s first openly gay state lawmaker is proposing a ballot measure for voters to decide whether the state should recognize same-sex marriage – a suggestion similar to the one gay-marriage opponent Gov. Chris Christie made less than a year ago.
At the time, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora opposed the governor’s suggestion and compared him to segregationists of earlier decades who wanted civil rights issues decided by majority vote. For that, Christie called the lawmaker “numb nuts.”
Richard Adams, who used both the altar and the courtroom to help begin the push for gay marriage four decades before it reached the center of the national consciousness, has died, his attorney said earlier this week.
After a brief illness, Adams died Dec. 17 at age 65 in the Hollywood home he shared with Tony Sullivan, his partner of 43 years, attorney Lavi Soloway told The Associated Press.
Arriving in a limo, Donna Galluzzo and Lisa Gorney had all the trappings of a traditional wedding: Rings, flowers, wedding vows, an entourage and a friend to officiate. With tears in their eyes, they were among the first gay couples to exchange wedding vows early Dec. 29 after Maine's same-sex marriage law went into effect at midnight.
"We're paving the way for people to go after us. I think it's just amazing. It's freeing. It's what's right," an emotionally drained Gorney said after their ceremony in front of City Hall.
Clang, clang, clunk went the trolley.
The owner of an Annapolis, Md., trolley company says he’ll no longer offer wedding services because he opposes same-sex marriage.
At the first meeting of a new state House education subcommittee this month, a dramatic moment in Florida history passed virtually unnoticed.
Another Chicago neighborhood says it wants to be the future home of the Barack Obama presidential library.
No official plans have been made yet. But residents in the historically black Bronzeville neighborhood say there’s 37 acres there that are a perfect fit.
Marilyn Monroe. The Rolling Stones. And Bond – James Bond. What do they have in common?
Sure, one’s long gone, and one’s fictional. But all three marked a golden anniversary in 2012. And after a half-century in our pop-culture consciousness, they each displayed a surprisingly enduring appeal.
The Texas Supreme Court will decide who owns 52 Fort Worth-area church properties valued at more than $100 million in a case being hailed by lawyers as one of the largest church property disputes in state and U.S. history.
The dispute erupted about five years ago after the Fort Worth Episcopal diocese broke away from the national church in protest of the consecration of a gay bishop, ordination of women and other policies it perceived as too liberal. The Fort Worth diocese claimed it owned the churches and other properties, but in 2009 the national church sued, arguing the breakaway group could not take the buildings and land.
For years, Republicans have adhered fiercely to their bedrock conservative principles, resisting Democratic calls for tax hikes, comprehensive immigration reform and gun control.
Now, seven weeks after an electoral drubbing, some party leaders and rank-and-file alike are signaling a willingness to bend on all three issues and others, including gay marriage.
Though Adele didn’t have a new album or a worldwide tour in 2012, she’s still rolling. After a year of Grammy glory and James Bond soundtracking, Adele has been voted The Associated Press Entertainer of the Year.
In 132 ballots submitted by members and subscribers of the AP, Adele easily outpaced other vote-getters like Taylor Swift, “Fifty Shades of Grey” author E.L. James, the South Korean viral video star PSY and the cast of “Twilight.” Editors and broadcasters were asked to cast their ballot for the person who had the most influence on entertainment and culture in 2012.