(Reuters) – Indiana Governor Mike Pence on Thursday signed into law a controversial religious freedom bill that could allow businesses and individuals to deny services to gays on religious grounds.
Supporters of the bill, which was passed overwhelmingly by both chambers of the Republican-controlled state legislature, say it will keep the government from forcing business owners to act in ways contrary to strongly held religious beliefs. Opponents say it is discriminatory and broader in scope than other state religious freedom laws.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Former U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. is set to be released from prison on Thursday to a halfway house in Washington, D.C., after spending roughly half of his 30-month sentence behind bars, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy said on Wednesday.
Kennedy, a friend of Jackson, said that he met with the former Illinois lawmaker at an Alabama prison on Monday.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Three people were arrested on Tuesday at a protest at Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office while demanding reforms to the nation’s second largest police department, including an end to what they consider excessive use of “stop and frisk” searches.
A group of about 100 protesters – which included several clergy members – chanted “Black Lives Matter,” sang “We Shall Overcome,” and lay down in front of the mayor’s City Hall office until staff agreed to meet with some of them.
(Reuters) – A controversial Indiana bill that could protect
business owners who don’t want to provide services for same-sex
couples moved closer to law on Monday, after passage by the
Senate Bill 101, known as the “Religious Freedom Restoration
Act,” was approved by the Republican-controlled House by 63-31.
A version was previously passed by the Republican-controlled
Senate, and Republican Governor Mike Pence has indicated support
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Owners of rooftop venues with views into Chicago’s historic Wrigley Field asked a federal judge on Monday to block the Chicago Cubs baseball team from putting up signs over right field, saying they would block views and destroy their businesses.
The businesses sell tickets to eat, drink and watch the ballgame to fans on top of residential buildings outside the 101-year-old ballpark. They have permission under a 2004 contract which requires them to pay the Cubs 17 percent of their revenue.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago suburban police are investigating the stabbing death of a woman by a family member while both were visiting a patient at a hospital on Sunday.
The 42-year-old woman was attacked by a 44-year-old man at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village. The suspect was immediately taken into custody without incident and is being cooperative, according to Elk Grove Village Police.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – An Illinois man who was freed from prison after 20 years for a murder he did not commit was awarded $20 million in a settlement – the highest individual settlement ever given in a wrongful conviction case, his lawyers said on Friday.
Juan Rivera, 42, was cleared by DNA evidence of the 1992 rape and murder of 11-year-old Holly Staker in Waukegan, a city about 40 miles north of Chicago.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a former Illinois state lawmaker to eight years in prison for sending child pornography through office computers, rejecting a request that the critically ill man be allowed to die at home.
Former Democratic Illinois State Representative Keith Farnham, 67, of Elgin, has pulmonary fibrosis and is expected to have only a few months to live, according to court documents. U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang rejected a defense request that Farnham be allowed to remain on electronic home detention for six months to give him the chance to die at home.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Chicago City Council, hoping to boost the chances of landing President Barack Obama’s presidential library for his hometown, on Wednesday unanimously approved the use of land in two parks near the president’s home.
The land is near the University of Chicago and would be transferred if the school’s bid for the presidential library is accepted. Obama was a law professor at the university before his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004.
(Reuters) – The U.S. Presbyterian Church on Tuesday approved a change in the wording of its constitution to include same-sex marriage, a move which threatens to further splinter one of the largest U.S. mainline Protestant denominations.
A majority of the 171 regional “presbyteries,” or local leadership bodies of the church, have now voted to change the wording of the constitution to define marriage as a commitment “between two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”