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Illinois May See Conflicting Legislation on the Ballot Regarding Same-Sex Marriage

By Nottage and Ward on December 7, 2012

It did not take long for the inadequacies of the Illinois civil union law to garner support for true equality in the form of same-sex marriage. Now, during the Illinois legislature’s two-week veto session, lawmakers have the opportunity to push a gay marriage bill to be added onto a statewide ballot. According to BallotNews.org, such a push may happen as soon as this week, the first week of December.

Supporters backing the approval of such a bill include state Representative George Harris and Equality Illinois director of public policy, Randy Hannig. Both Harris and Hannig believe that statewide and nationwide support for same-sex marriage has grown in the past two years since the Illinois civil union law passed. In fact, the recent election included four states which supported same-sex ballot issues, such as the legalization of gay marriage and the defeat of measures banning gay marriage. This demonstrates a shift in the nation’s attitudes about same-sex marriage. But a proposal for the legalization of gay marriage is not the only legislation that may end up on the ballot.

Illinois state Senator Bill Haine both opposed the civil union bill and is now pushing to include a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, as it is defined in the controversial federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). How these legislative issues will play out are still unknown, but potentially not for very long.

At Nottage and Ward, our Chicago LGBT family law attorneys were strong supporters of the civil union law and are also supporters of legislative efforts to legalize gay marriage. Same-sex couples have been fighting an uphill battle for a long time and we hope that they may finally know equality. Regardless of what happens, we are always happy to help Illinois residents resolve civil union and other family law issues.

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