SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Opponents of gay marriage have rallied outside the Illinois Capitol a day after thousands of supporters rallied for the legislation.
The "Defend Marriage Lobby Day" began Wednesday with a morning prayer service outside the Capitol. Attendees clustered around a large wooden cross that had been placed at the Lincoln statue. Some participants carried pictures of the Holy Family - Jesus, Mary and Joseph - and posters emphasizing their belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
The event included pastors who hope to influence moderate Republicans and socially conservative members of the House Black Caucus.
Same-sex marriage legislation passed the Illinois Senate in February, but gay activists say they're a few votes short in the House.
MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) - Officials in a northwest Missouri county whose prosecutor is under fire for his handling of a teen sexual assault case are planning to close county offices Tuesday because of a planned rally related to the case.
Nodaway County Clerk Beth Walker says the courthouse and county administrative building are being closed. Walker says law enforcement officers will maintain some kind of presence around the buildings during the rally.
At least two activist groups, including one called "Justice for Daisy," have called for the protest, which is to begin at 6 p.m.
Daisy Coleman says she was 14 in January 2012 when a 17-year-old Maryville boy gave her alcohol and had sex with her when she was incapacitated. Felony charges against the boy and a second 17-year-old were dropped months later.
Demonstrators in St. Louis and elsewhere are calling for maternity practices that put mothers and babies ahead of hospitals and insurance companies.
Dozens line Brentwood Boulevard on Labor Day for a "Rally To Improve Birth" demonstration. It was one of 170 rallies nationwide calling for reducing medical interventions and reducing the rate of cesarean section.
Organizers point to United Nations data that shows that the US ranks 45th worldwide in maternal safety even though it has the highest maternity health costs in the world.
U.S. Postal Service officials have announced plans to end Saturday mail delivery in an effort to cut $2 billion in costs. But the letter carriers argue that USPS will also lose business if Saturday mail delivery is stopped.
Sunday's rally in St. Louis was one of dozens across the country staged by the postal workers' union as part of their National Day of Action.