gay marriage

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Gay rights activists view the recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage as a victory.

In two 5-4 decisions, the Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and effectively put to rest California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage by ruling that its supporters did not have standing to challenge a lower court’s ruling that the measure was unconstitutional.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

 Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) cut cake and scooped ice cream during a ceremony to celebrate the volunteers who helped restore and now staff the Amtrak station in downtown Kirkwood.

“We are celebrating the best of this community, which are the kind people who decided this train station is worth saving,” McCaskill said.  “It’s now recognized as one of the best train stations in the country.”

McCaskill also read a letter of thanks from Vice President, and vocal Amtrak supporter, Joe Biden.     

The clock is ticking for those who hope Illinois will become the 13th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn its spring session Friday night, and the marriage equality bill still has not been called for a vote in the state House, where supporters are struggling to round up the 60 votes necessary to pass it.

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The U.S. Supreme Court, last week, heard arguments on two gay rights cases which may produce landmark rulings. 

The Missouri legislature is considering banning the use of drones by journalists while the University of Missouri Journalism School is teaching students how to use them.

And, Missouri’s contraception exception law is no more – at least for now.

Those and other topics were discussed as part of our monthly legal roundtable.

Our guests:

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Will be updated.

The Illinois Senate has voted to legalize same-sex marriage, advancing a proposal that would make the state the 10th in the nation allowing same-sex couples to wed.

In a 34-21 vote Thursday, lawmakers approved a measure to lift a state ban on same-sex marriage. The bill now moves to the House, where Democrats also hold a majority.

Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky reports in a tweet that the vote didn't quite come down on party lines:

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Reporting by WBEZ's Tony Arnold.

The bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois is advancing.

For the second time in a month - the Senate Executive Committee approved the legalization of same-sex marriage along party lines.

Lawmakers tried to pass a similar bill before the end of session last month - but failed to get the necessary support.

Today the votes against the measure centered around the same argument as last time: Would religious institutions have to host same-sex marriages on their properties?

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The gay and lesbian community is pushing to be included in a state law to protect against discrimination. The nonpartisan political action committee Missourians for Equality is kicking off its statewide petition drive in several areas across

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 Updated 5:49 p.m.

The Associated Press reports that the bill has cleared the Senate committee and will head to the full Senate for a vote. 

It is not clear when that vote will take place. 

Updated 4:51 p.m. with information on start of hearing. Will be updated. 

A Senate committee has started considering a landmark bill that could make Illinois the 10th state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

Hundreds of people have submitted comments for and against the measure.

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The Illinois Senate returns to the Capitol on Wednesday to begin a weeklong legislative session that could take up pension reform, legalizing gay marriage and banning assault rifles.

The 97th General Assembly will finish its work Jan. 9 when a new Legislature is sworn in. That means there are many lame-duck lawmakers not returning who might feel less constrained to vote for contentious issues. The House comes in Sunday.

Gov. Pat Quinn has made it a priority for the assembly to find a solution to the state employee retirement programs that are underfunded by $96 billion.

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Two Illinois lawmakers say they're within "striking distance" of getting legislative approval for gay marriage and hope to send a bill to Gov. Pat Quinn shortly after the new year.

Rep. Greg Harris and Sen. Heather Steans say they'll call for a vote on a gay marriage bill when the Legislature reconvenes in January. The Chicago Democrats say public opinion favoring equal rights for same-sex partners is moving rapidly. The fact that four states voted in favor of the issue or opposed a ban on it in November helps.