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Push for Marriage Equality in Illinois Continues in Illinois Legislature

By Nottage and Ward on February 7, 2013

Democratic Illinois legislators have begun a legislative drive to make same-sex marriage legal in the state. As reported by Reuters and published in The Chicago Tribune, an Illinois State Senate committee has approved a measure to make same-sex marriage legal. The vote count was the following:

  • Nine in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage
  • Five opposed

Republicans opposed the measure while Democrats voted in favor of making marriage between same sex couples legal. This vote paves the way for a possible vote in the Senate upper chamber during the week of February 11th, 2013.

Illinois Marriage Equality IssueAfter the Senate committee vote, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn was quoted by Reuters as saying the next step in the process of delivering equal rights to all persons in the state is at hand. In 2011, state legislators in Illinois approved civil unions for same-sex couples. President Barack Obama made his thoughts on the issue of same-sex marriage in his home state known by stating that he supports the efforts of gay-rights advocates who do not believe approval of civil unions went far enough.

Spokeswoman for Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton, Rikeesha Phelon, said Mr. Cullerton hopes the same-sex marriage bill will pass before Valentine’s Day. The last effort to pass such a bill passed in committee but was not brought to the upper chamber because of uncertain majority support. Since that effort, democrats have gained seats in not only the Senate but the House as well.

If the legislature approves the same-sex marriage bill, and once Governor Quinn signs it into law, Illinois would be the tenth state to achieve marriage equality. The District of Columbia has also legalized same-sex marriage.

Since 1988, the Chicago attorneys at Nottage and Ward have successfully handled litigation of complex family law issues. Nottage and Ward partner Jeffrey Knipmeyer is at the forefront of understanding and handling family law issues for the gay community, including civil unions and dissolutions.

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