Faith-Based Child Welfare Controversy May Be Reignited In Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision could reignite a 10-year-old controversy in Illinois over whether faith-based charities can be prohibited from contracting with the state for foster care and adoption services on the grounds that they refuse to work with unmarried or same-sex couples. In a 9-0 decision Thursday, the nation’s high court […]

Champaign Clinic Aims to Spread Awareness of LGBTQ Mental Health

CHAMPAIGN – Many LGBTQ individuals experience issues such as prejudice and healthcare barriers, contributing to higher rates of mental illness among this community than the general population, according to nurse practitioner Kate Srikant. Individuals often feel isolated, or that healthcare providers don’t understand their struggles, Srikant says. Data from the advocacy group Mental Health America […]

LGBTQ Pride Flies High In Urbana

URBANA – On Monday, Joanne Geigner helped raise the rainbow flag above the Urbana City Building.  She is part of Uniting Pride, which advocates for Champaign County’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities. Geigner is also the mother of a transgender son. She says the flag’s visibility sends a message to community members who may […]

Drag Picnic Offers Safe Space For LGBTQ+ Folks In Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — June is Pride Month, and LGBTQ+ folks and allies in Champaign are ready to kick off the month with a Drag Picnic taking place at West Side Park this Saturday. CJ Brown is the host and organizer of the picnic, as well as one of the drag performers taking the stage this weekend. […]

Transgender Students Protest Deadnaming At University of Illinois Graduation.

URBANA – Donned in a blue and orange cap and gown, Cyrus Arnieri had prepared for his graduation ceremony at the University of Illinois longer than most. As a transgender student, Arnieri says he had been corresponding with the University for months to ensure his preferred name was called at the ceremony.  Despite legally changing his […]

Senate Committee Advances Bills On Sex Ed, Decriminalizing HIV Transmission

Illinois State Senate

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation that would overhaul sex education in Illinois and a measure to decriminalize the transmission of HIV were among several bills that passed the Senate Executive Committee Wednesday. The committee, following a long and contentious debate, advanced legislation that would require public schools to teach sex ed by July 2023. Senate Bill 818 and […]

Delivery Service Rules, Limits On Governor’s Authority Over Unions Advance

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate worked through a long list of bills Thursday as lawmakers prepared to enter the final stretch of the 2021 session. Those bills included new restrictions on third-party delivery services such as DoorDash, limits on the governor’s authority to interfere with collective bargaining agreements and new requirements to collect data on […]

Illinois Lawmakers Vote For LGBTQ Equality Along Party Lines

WASHINGTON — Illinois lawmakers voted along party lines Thursday, as the House of Representatives voted 224-206 to pass H.R. 5, titled the Equality Act, a bill to protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination. Listen to this story here. An earlier version of the bill passed the House once before in 2019, with the support of eight […]

Federal Court Denies State Motion In Transgender Prisoner Case

SPRINGFIELD — A federal district court in Southern Illinois denied a request Thursday from the Illinois Department of Corrections to dismiss a class-action lawsuit against the department for its treatment of transgender prisoners. That case, Monroe v. Jeffreys, was originally filed in 2018 as Monroe v. Rauner by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf […]

Parkland College Students Bury 2020 Chaos In Time Capsule

CHAMPAIGN – A rainbow flag, Black Lives Matter pins and a roll of toilet paper are among items Parkland College students recently ‘laid to rest’ in a time capsule featuring the events of 2020. Phi Theta Kappa, the Honors Society chapter at Parkland created the time capsule. The students buried the capsuled during a physically […]

2020 Champaign County Pride Fest Seeks To Make An Impact Online

URBANA — The 2020 Champaign County Pride Fest joins a long list of events that have had to move online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What used to consist of parades, drag shows, film screenings, and other live events, has now become virtual workshops, Zoom sessions and online discussion panels. The slogan for this year’s […]

News Around Illinois – July 1, 2020

Wage Hike, Driving Privileges, Civics Address In New Laws SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — New Illinois state laws dictating minimum wage, certain driving offenses and LGBTQ history education in public schools will take effect Wednesday. Low-wage workers statewide will see a salary increase for the second time this year as required by a law signed last […]