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Illinois inn hit with $80,000 for refusing to host gay civil union ceremony

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Same-sex couple (Shuttershock)

An Illinois inn that refused to allow a same-sex couple hold their civil union ceremony on the property was fined more than $80,000 by the Illinois Human Rights Commission on Tuesday.

An administrative law judge with the commission ordered TimberCreek Bed & Breakfast to pay $15,000 each to Todd and Mark Wathen for emotional distress.

The Wathens had contacted TimberCreek in 2011 as they looked for possible locations for the ceremony.

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TimberCreek owner Jim Walder had responded to the Wathens’ inquiry with an email that said “homosexuality is immoral and unnatural,” according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.

TimberCreek, located about 100 miles south of Chicago, must also pay $50,000 in attorneys’ fees and $1,218.35 in costs.

“We are very happy that no other couple will have to experience what we experienced by being turned away and belittled and criticized for who we are,” Todd Wathen said in a statement.

A representative from TimberCreek was not immediately available to comment.

The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in June 2015.

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(Reporting by Mark Weinraub; Editing by Bernadette Baum)


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2020 Election

Here’s why Wall Street has decided it’s fine with Democrats sweeping the election

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President Donald Trump has tried to portray himself as an economic savior, and warned that Joe Biden winning the election would be a disaster for jobs and businesses.

But according to Politico, Wall Street executives don't agree. Many of them are now actively rooting for Democrats to sweep the 2020 election — because Republicans have failed to deliver crucial stimulus.

"Traders in recent weeks have been piling into bets that a 'blue wave' election, in which Democrats also seize the Senate, will produce an economy-juicing blast of fresh fiscal stimulus of $3 trillion or more that carries the U.S. past the coronavirus crisis and into a more normal environment for markets," reported Ben White. "Far from panicking at the prospect of a Biden win, Wall Street CEOs, traders and investment managers now mostly say they would be fine with a change in the White House that reduces the Trump noise, lowers the threat of further trade wars and ensures a continuation of the government spending they’ve seen in recent years."

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2020 Election

Expert: Trump in a ‘dangerous’ battle with Bloomberg to win Texas for Biden

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Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg this week revealed that he's making a major last-minute ad blitz aimed at winning both Texas and Ohio for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

According to the New York Times, Bloomberg's Independence USA super PAC is "directing millions toward television advertising" in the two states in the hopes of swaying undecided voters into backing Biden instead of President Donald Trump.

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MSNBC’s Morning Joe can’t wait for Democrats to throw McConnell’s words back in his face

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave Democrats every justification to expand the Supreme Court.

The "Morning Joe" host -- an ex-Republican -- said Democrats should throw McConnell's words back in his face to make the case for expanding the court if they retake the majority, after Republicans brazenly violated their own precedent to ram through Amy Coney Barrett.

"I love watching stuff like this," Scarborough said. "This is, like, do I need some popcorn? No, I'll tell you why. Every word that Mitch McConnell -- every single word -- and if Democrats have half a brain, and if they're not wimps, they will actually lift that speech word for word and use it when they expand the court to 11 or 12 justices."

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