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chicago same sex civil union - Chicago Illinois Family Law Blog

Federal Same-Sex Marriage Ban Complicates Finances, Puts Spotlight on Inequalities

By Nottage and Ward on March 20, 2012

Many of the legal and financial ramifications of traditional marriage are automatic upon marriage. Even without a will, if one spouse dies, the other spouse is granted certain rights in the estate. Once married, each spouse has ownership rights to marital property. The parties also get all applicable health and employment benefits, can file joint state and joint federal tax returns, and are afforded many other financial and legal rights without taking any overt actions. Gay couples are not so lucky, unfortunately, and the financial issues that same-sex partners must face are a constant reminder that marriage equality is still far away, though it gets closer every year.

Many of the obstacles in the way of marriage equality for same-sex couples have been demolished by states through civil union and domestic partnership laws and even legalization of gay marriage. These are important steps toward the final goal of bringing change to the federal government and its Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) With the ongoing financial hassles and denial of rights plaguing gay couples, the movement for change on the federal level is growing stronger.

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Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Legalize Gay Marriage in Illinois

By Nottage and Ward on February 16, 2012

It has been almost one year since the civil union law went into effect in Illinois and now some lawmakers feel it is time to take the next step and authorize same-sex marriages, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Last week, three legislators filed a bill, HB5170, entitled the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” which would remove the explicit prohibition of same-sex marriages from state law and make marriage legally available to gay couples. In addition, the new measure would allow religious groups to make their own decisions concerning the types of marriages they perform. One of the bill’s sponsors is not sure whether the Legislature will give it serious consideration, but, if trends across the country are any indication, Illinois may consider same-sex marriages sooner rather than later.

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