PNS Daily News - October 28, 2016 

Here are the stories getting a closer look on today's rundown: armed occupiers of a wildlife refuge are found not guilty; teachers try to keep discussion of this year’s election civil; and groups fight for a name change at Yale University.

Daily Newscasts

Iowa Gay Marriage Ruling Could Set the Tone in the Prairie State

May 5. 2009

Springfield, IL – The recent legalization of same-sex marriage in Iowa is credited for helping build momentum for civil union legislation in Illinois. House Bill 2234, the Religious Freedom and Civil Union Act, would legalize civil unions and grant same-sex couples in a civil union many of the same legal rights as married couples. The legislation is currently waiting for a vote in the Illinois House.

Rick Garcia with Equality Illinois is hopeful that the Iowa decision to legalize gay marriage will persuade Illinois to take a step in the same direction.

"Iowa is a state in the heart of the heartland that has recognized same-sex marriage, and a lot of Illinoisans are saying, 'Well, what about us - why not here?'"

If the act is adopted, those in a civil union would be granted the same legal obligations, responsibilities, protections and benefits as married individuals, such as the right to make emergency medical decisions or funeral arrangements for a partner. While opponents say civil unions are an attack on traditional marriage, supporters say this is about recognizing relationships, not legalizing gay marriage.

Addressing concerns that civil unions will violate religious teachings on marriage, the bill affirms that no religious institution or denomination can be forced to solemnize civil unions. Garcia agrees that religion and matters of the state should not mix.

"In some of our religious traditions we don't recognize divorce and remarriage, and yet the state does. It's so important to separate the sacrament of matrimony from civil marriage."

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IL