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DOMA Ruling Gives Supporters of Marriage Equality in Illinois Hope

By Jeffrey Knipmeyer on July 2, 2013

According to The Chicago Sun-Times, on June 26, the United States Supreme Court struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on a majority vote of 5-4, allowing the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages sanctioned by the states.

Gay and lesbian rights supporters in Illinois celebrated the decision. Around 500 people gathered in Boystown for a victory rally. Many celebrants waved rainbow flags and businesses donned banners in support of the decision. Speakers took to the stage and expressed their joy and also their frustration with the shortfalls of the ruling. Gay couples are now eligible for the federal benefits they were denied through DOMA; however, the battle for marriage equality has not ended for supporters.

Many were disappointed with the Supreme Court for not deeming gay marriage an unequivocal constitutional right. A provision in DOMA — one that disallows nationwide recognition of same-sex marriages — was not addressed by the highest court. States still hold precedent when it comes to determining their own policy on gay marriage. Illinois does not recognize gay marriage, although a bill has been in the works. Advocates are hopeful that the new ruling may pressure Illinois legislators to pass the bill.

Jeffrey Knipmeyer, a partner in the Chicago family law firm of Nottage and Ward, has been working with the gay community throughout his career, resolving family issues unique to their circumstances. No matter the composition of your household or family unit, he will assist you in complex matters concerning your children, your property, and your finances. Call (312) 332-2915 for a better understanding of your situation and the options available to you.

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