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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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Same-Sex Military Couples File Lawsuit in Federal Court for Equal Benefits

By Nottage and Ward on November 29, 2011

As same-sex couples find acceptance across the nation, it is inevitable that the federal government must address equality issues that relate to their jurisdiction. The U.S. government may have this chance very soon as a group of same-sex military couples have filed a federal lawsuit, according to Unfortunately, a group of high-ranking U.S. government officials, including Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi are already determined to fight the suit, which seeks to obtain military benefits for same-sex couples equal to heterosexual couples.

The lawsuit names 16 plaintiffs and was filed in a Massachusetts federal court on behalf of “current and former active duty members of the United States armed forces seeking equal benefits for equal work.” The benefits sought include retirement, family separation benefits, additional housing allowances, military ID for spouses, extended insurance coverage, and spousal death benefits. The defendants named in the lawsuit include the U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Secretary of Defense, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and even the United States of America itself. The Department of Justice has until December 31 to respond to the lawsuit.

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