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Illinois Senate Passes Gay Marriage Bill

By Nottage and Ward on February 15, 2013

The Illinois State Senate is continuing the drive toward marriage equality in Illinois. As reported by Reuters and published in The Chicago Tribune, the Illinois Senate approved a bill on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013, to make same-sex marriages legal. The vote in the upper chamber was as follows:

  • 34 in favor
  • 21 against
  • 2 abstentions

The bill now goes to the House. Although the fight there is expected to be more intense, if the bill makes it to the desk of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, he has pledged to sign it. President Barack Obama has already made his opinion on same-sex marriage in his home state known. He is in support of the efforts of advocates for same-sex marriage and does not believe the 2011 approval by the state’s legislators of civil unions for same-sex couples goes far enough.

If the measure passes the House and is signed by the Governor, state law would officially be changed from an act between “a man and a woman” to “two people.” Those couples currently in civil unions could change those civil unions to gay marriages within one year once the same-sex marriage bill becomes law.

Senator Martin Sandoval, Democrat from Chicago, called Valentine’s Day 2013, a day to celebrate in the State of Illinois. He said that the Senate vote is one more step in breaking down barriers which have kept some Illinois citizens from being equally treated under the law. Life partners could, for example, share retirement and insurance benefits if the bill is signed into law.

At the Illinois family law firm of Nottage and Ward, partner Jeffrey Knipmeyer has long been a leader in handling family law matters within the gay community. Our firm offers legal advice to those in many living arrangements. If you need help with family law matters, call (312) 332-2915 to allow us to help you with complex family law issues.

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