gay marriage

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A new poll shows gay marriage has seen a sharp jump in support among Illinois voters.

The poll by Southern Illinois University's Simon Public Policy Institute found that 44 percent of voters support legalizing gay marriage. That's up 10 points from two years ago.

Nearly one-third of voters said they back civil unions for gay couples. Only 20 percent oppose legal recognition of same-sex couples.

Pollsters interviewed 1,261 registered voters by phone between Sept. 4 and Sept. 10. The margin of error is 3 points plus or minus.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Nixon seeks permission to ease land restrictions during drought

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has asked the federal government to allow farmers to graze cattle on land that's been taken out of crop production as part of a federal conservation effort.

Farmers in the state have about 1.4 million acres of land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, which pays them to plant other vegetation instead of cash crops like corn or soybeans. Livestock grazing is allowed on the land when there's a 40 percent shortage of hay and precipitation.

The Associated Press is reporting that the Illinois Senate has approved civil unions for gay couples.  Governor Pat Quinn says he will sign the measure.

Here's more information from the AP (as of 2:10 p.m.):

After California's ban on gay marriage was tossed out by a judge this week, could Missouri's gay-marriage ban be next?

That fear prompted Frieda Keough to show up in Clayton's Memorial Park on Thursday, homemade sign in hand, to join about 70 others protesting Wednesday's decision by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker. He ruled that California's Proposition 8, approved by voters in 2008, violated the rights of gays and lesbians who wish to marry.

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