Satanic Temple display added to others at state capitol

SPRINGFIELD — A display from the Satanic Temple in Chicago has been added a Nativity scene and Menorah in the Illinois State Capitol rotunda. The State Journal-Register in Springfield reported Tuesday that the temple had applied to the secretary of state’s office to allow the display. From the State Journal-Register:
[T]he sculpture is called “Knowledge is the Greatest Gift,” and it depicts the forearm of a young woman extended, with a snake coiled around the arm, and the hand holding an apple. The whole structure, including the base, is about 4 1/2 feet tall, and the arm and apple statue is about 18 inches long. Lex Manticore of Chicago, a leader and spokesman for the group, said the arm represents that of Eve in the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge.

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.

AG Madigan joins group fighting to keep transgender protections

CHICAGO — Outgoing Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Wednesday joined with 20 other state attorneys general in pushing back against a possible new Trump administration policy that would remove protections for transgender people, a Chicago TV station reported. From CBS2 Chicago:
“Civil rights laws are crucial to ensuring access to healthcare and education and the administration should abandon this effort to discriminate against transgender individuals,” Madigan said. It was reported in October that officials in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services were contemplating the idea to allow a definition of sex “as an immutable, binary biological trait determined by or before birth—and that the Department was urging other agencies, including the Department of Education, to do the same.”

In a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Madigan and the others attorneys general wrote “despite clear evidence of the serious harms that discrimination continues to inflict on the transgender community, the Administration seems intent not only on rolling back existing federal civil rights protections for this vulnerable population, but also denying transgender people even basic recognition.”

Along with Madigan in sending the letter were the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Transgender Day of Remembrance events around the state

CHICAGO — Transgender Day of Remembrance is on Tuesday, Nov. 20. Communities across Illinois will be holding events in honor of the day. We’ve put together a list of events throughout Illinois. We’ve also included some events close to Illinois regions.

Judge orders Illinois to review transgender inmate’s move request

EAST ST. LOUIS — A federal judge has ruled that the Illinois Department of Corrections must look at all evidence for a transgender inmates request to be moved. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Rosenstengel said the Illinois Department of Corrections’ Transgender Care Review Committee must consider all evidence for and against transferring 27-year-old Strawberry Hampton to a women’s facility. Hampton has been requesting a move for months. From the Sun-Times:
Rosenstengel also gave the department 14 days to tell the court how it plans to train all correctional staff on transgender issues.

LGBTQ candidates ride blue wave into Illinois offices

CHICAGO — While the blue wave in much of the country seemed like a small ripple, it was a high tide in Illinois races, with Democrats taking all statewide offices. LGBTQ candidates were among those winning office on Tuesday. Most of the candidates were in the Chicago metropolitan areas, but there were LGBTQ candidates and winners in other parts of the state. All of them ran as Democrats. The Peoria Journal-Star reported that Rob Reneau one a seat on the Peoria County Board, adding to the Democrat majority in the Central Illinois county.

Nobody Is Above the Law protests pop up across Illinois

CHICAGO — Protest over the firing of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session and Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker taking over supervision of the Mueller investigation were planned across the state on Thursday. While protests nationally were coordinated by, Illinois actions were organized by local groups and individuals. Protestors are concerned that Whitaker, who had criticized the Mueller investigation as a witch hunt, will shut the investigation down before it can issue a report and further charges. Here’s a listing of the protests we know of, organized by region. We’ll add more as we learn of them.

Judge: “Deliberate Indifference” of IDOC mental health care requires federal oversight

CHICAGO — The federal court has found that the state of Illinois continues to violate the constitutional rights of more than 12,000 prisoners with mental illness. The finding comes even after the case had reached a settlement agreement in 2016, but the plaintiffs had to return to court when the IDOC failed to live up to its agreement and constitutional violations continued, according to the plaintiffs’ lead counsel, Harold Hirshman, senior counsel for Dentons. The court issued a 50-page decision finding that the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) has been deliberately indifferent to prisoners’ mental health, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. “It is clear mentally ill inmates continue to suffer as they wait for the IDOC to do what it said it was going to do,” Judge Mihm said. The court described the changes needed to IDOC’s mental health care as “monumental.”  (Order pg.

ACLU of Illinois responds to President Trump’s proposed move to end birthright citizenship in U.S.

CHICAGO — President Trump is considering issuing an executive order that attempts to end birthright citizenship in the United States. The below statement is from Aarón Siebert-Llera, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Illinois:

“Despite last minute political antics by President Trump, the 14th Amendment’s citizenship guarantee is clear. The President cannot rewrite the Constitution with an executive order and the mere suggestion is further evidence of how little regard he has for our founding document. Any such effort will fall like other ill-considered actions by the Trump White House. It is sad that the President is choosing to fan the flames of hatred toward immigrants in this moment.