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Illinois Same-Sex Marriage Bill Clears House Committee

By Nottage and Ward on February 28, 2013

In a six-to-five vote, a bill that would make same-sex marriages legal in the state of Illinois cleared the House Executive Committee just before 10:00 p.m. February 26th, 2013. As reported by The Chicago Tribune, the bill now will move on to the full House. There the bill is expected to undergo its toughest test. Representative Greg Harris, a democrat from Chicago who is sponsoring the same-sex marriage bill, says the bill is needed because the status of those who are in civil unions often goes misunderstood. His belief is that all Illinois families should be treated equally under Illinois law.

If the bill passes the House, Illinois governor Pat Quinn has vowed to sign it into law. Illinois would become the tenth state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriages. The bill was passed in the Senate on Valentine’s Day. Less than two years have passed since the first civil union certificates were issued by the state.

Several witnesses came to Springfield to speak on behalf of or against the bill. Reverend Otis Moss III, pastor of President Obama’s former church, Trinity United Church of Christ, spoke on behalf of the bill in support of marriage equality, telling committee members that legislators need to remember that we all come from distinct backgrounds with different traditions, faiths, beliefs, etc. We all belong to what he called the “cathedral of democracy.”

Advocates for the same-sex marriage bill made an attempt to pass it during the January lame-duck session, but with Democrats increasing their number in both the Senate and the House, they called off that effort and focused on the bill’s passage in the recently seated General Assembly.

At the Chicago family law firm of Nottage and Ward, our clients are able to obtain legal advice no matter their living arrangement. Partner Jeffrey Knipmeyer is experienced at handling complex matters of family law for members of the gay community. Call us at (312) 332-2915 for a private consultation. Our focus has been on family law and divorce—nothing else—for more than 20 years.

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