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Illinois Bans Discrimination Against Gays and Lesbians

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KWMU
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Illinois Capitol Building.

By AP

Springfield, Ill. – Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has signed into law legislation that bans discrimination against gays and lesbians.

The governor's signature Friday makes Illinois the 15th state in the nation to do so.

The law prohibits discriminating against people because of sexual orientation in housing, employment, credit and other areas.

Blagojevich says Illinois won't tolerate discrimination of any kind. He calls the new law "a critical step forward in the struggle for equality."

Rick Garcia of the gay rights group Equality Illinois says the legislation is the culmination of almost 30 years of hard work for those who believe everyone should get equal treatment.

Opponents say it opens the door to gay marriage and would infringe on religious organizations' rights.

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