Ohio bill would protect ministers from marrying same-sex couples

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A bill in the Ohio state legislature would put into law that ministers wouldn’t have to perform marriages for same-sex couples. From 13 ABC in Columbus:
The “Ohio Pastor Protection Act ” would stipulate that an ordained or licensed minister or religious society isn’t subject to civil or criminal liability for denying their services or use of their property for such marriages. Supporters say pastors shouldn’t be forced to contradict their religious beliefs. Gay-rights advocates and other opponents of the bill say it’s redundant to constitutional protections and could enable discrimination against same-sex couples. The House passed the measure in June, sending it to the Senate, where it’s under consideration now.

Chicago aldermen condemn administration’s discrimination against transgender community

CHICAGO — The Chicago City Council on Wednesday approved a resolution opposing the Trump administration’s proposed anti-transgender policy. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the council passed the resolution after the appeal of a transgender girl’s mother. “I’m 100 percent certain that my gender, your gender, and my child’s gender is for the person to decide. Otherwise, I don’t think my kid would be transgender because we really tried,” said the mom, who identified herself as Rachel according to the newspaper. From the Sun-Times:
Channyn Lynne Parker echoed Rachel’s sentiments.

Buffalo Grove Pride adds festival for next year

BUFFALO GROVE — This Chicago suburb’s first Pride celebration has just gotten bigger. The celebration, called the Pinta Pride Project after 12-year-old Molly Pinta who started the fundraising, will also include a festival as well as a parade. According to the Pinta Pride Project website, the parade will be on a mile-long round on Checker Road and a Festival of Diversity at Mike Rylko Community Park, 1000 N. Buffalo Grove Road. The Buffalo Grove Park District and village government are both backing the event. Music, food and attractions are planned.

Phoenix Center Ugly Holiday Sweater Party

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield’s Phoenix Center will be hosting an “ugly holiday sweater” party fundraiser at the Magic Kitchen on Monday, Dec. 10. From the Facebook event:
Each year we assemble a group of the most hideous holiday sweaters imaginable! The person with the most votes wins the “Ugliest Holiday Sweater” title. Also, bring a “LGBT themed” white elephant gift (max $20).

Central Illinois Cub, River City Bears fundraising for Midwest Food Bank

PEORIA — The River City Bears club in Peoria and Justin Reeves, the current Central Illinois Bear, are holding a holiday fundraiser for Midwest Food Bank. From the GoFundMe page:
My name is Justin Reeves and I’m the reining Mr. Central Illinois Cub.  This Christmas season myself and the River City Bears would like to reach out to our community and help those in need. So, it’s my pleasure to announce that from now until December 15th we will be hosting a dry/canned food drive.  Due to our group being spread over the entire Central Illinois are we’ve decided to handle the drive a bit differently.   We are providing a link to a corresponding Go Fund Me campaign. This way if you wish to donate and don’t exactly want to drive to Peoria with canned goods you don’t have to. Once the drive ends on the 15th all funds will be used to purchase goods for the final donation to Midwest Food Bank here in Peoria.  Of course, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly.  I’d also like to thank you all in advance for any help that you can provide. Lets make this drive a huge success.

World AIDS Day across Illinois

CHICAGO — World AIDS Day, an annual event to commemorate the battle against HIV and AIDS, is every December 1. Many groups and cities across Illinois have events planned for the day. Chicagoland
World AIDS Day Indoor Street Fest
DIFFA/Chicago and Center on Halsted present the 2nd Annual Stand Up For Red World AIDS Day Indoor Street Fest at @CenterOnHalsted on Thursday, November 29, 2018. Chicago’s most creative event to celebrate World AIDS Day and to keep the fight alive to end HIV/AIDS and combat stigma. Plus, you’ll have a whole lot of fun at the same time.

Holiday with the Queens on Dec. 8 in Urbana

URBANA — The UP Center of Champaign County will be hosting a youth drag competition with Arcadia Cafe on Saturday, Dec. 8. From the Facebook event:
Ages 11-17
Come on out and celebrate the winter season with some queens and kings! There will be a YOUTH DRAG COMPETITION, so arrive in some looks! Attendees will vote for their favorite looks, and winners will compete in a lip sync battle for a chance to win a prize!

Salvation Army photos go viral after ‘Aryan’ patch seen on a bell ringer

VALPARAISO — Photos of a Hell’s Angel motorcycle club member with “Aryan” on his vest while ringing bells for the Salvation Army created a firestorm on social media this week. The Times of Northwest Indiana in Munster, Ind. reported that the bikers were members of the Hell’s Angels Northwest Indiana Region Motorcycle Club. A representative of the club told the newspaper that some members wear “heritage-based” patches. Latinx bikers would wear “LATINO,” Japanese bikers wear “BUSHIDO” and white members would wear “ARYAN.” He also said that most members don’t wear them and that the issue had been blown out of proportion.