chicago civil union law - Chicago Illinois Family Law Blog
Leading sponsors of the Illinois same-sex marriage bill that failed to be considered for a vote in the past legislative session of the Illinois House of Representatives formally apologized to same-sex families and others who supported the legislation. As reported on June 17, 2013, by huffingtonpost.com, the apology was extended to families who had traveled to Springfield as the session was coming to a close and were anticipating an historic vote. The apology included a pledge to same-sex families that the fight is not over until there is equality for all families in the state. According to the statement, marriage equality will happen.
The statement of apology was signed by 16 lawmakers including the bill’s sponsor, Representative Greg Harris. Harris’ leadership has been under scrutiny ever since the Illinois House of Representatives failed to take up the same-sex marriage bill before the adjournment of the 2013 spring session. Harris had previously promised to call the measure to a vote and then failed to do so. Harris has blamed the lack of a vote on colleagues who wanted additional time to meet with constituents to discuss the issue.
Earlier this month, a judge ruled that two counties in Illinois could defend a 16-year-old state law that bans same-sex marriage, which gay marriage supporters hope will lead to the overturning of the law and, ultimately, the legalization of same-sex marriage, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Back in 1996, Illinois passed a law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Other states, as well as the federal government, have passed similar laws, much to criticism from the LGBT community, especially more recently as states have been moving away from such discriminatory laws. Recently, in Illinois, Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against a Cook County Clerk after his office used the 1996 law to justify refusing to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages and refusing to marry gay couples.
Marriage and divorce are hot topics, but why? The tradition of marriage has been around for centuries, but it was not until within the last decade that it has truly evolved in the United States. The rights of same-sex couples have been a topic of debate in various states across the nation, though the overall trend has been a positive one. Same-sex couples in many states, including Illinois, have been awarded the legal right to marry or enter into a civil union or domestic partnership. Equal rights have long been an issue for the gay community, but it seems that governments are finally listening and taking action. And now, President Barack Obama has publicly endorsed gay marriage, according to The New York Times.
Though the timing of President Obama’s announcement may have been rushed, making his decision to support the legalization of gay marriage was not. According to his advisors, the President had intended to define his position on the issue before September, when Democrats would nominate him for re-election. His position on gay marriage is not necessarily a surprise as he has demonstrated support for the gay community before, such as ending the ban on openly gay men and women in the military and disavowing the federal law which defines marriage as only between a man and woman, but the announcement is, nonetheless, politically, socially, and historically significant.
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