illinois gay marriage - Chicago Illinois Family Law Blog
It’s been made clear that the Illinois Civil Union Act has left much to be desired when it comes to true equality for same-sex couples under the law. It did not take long for the state’s ban on gay marriage to be challenged and now, a bill to legalize gay marriage may be considered as early as this month, according to an article in On Top Magazine, a gay advocacy website.
One of the bill’s sponsors, State Representative Greg Harris, told the Windy City Times that the bill, which was first introduced in February 2012, may actually come up for vote during the General Assembly’s upcoming veto, or lame duck session. He encourages supporters to contact their representatives to voice their support of the bill.
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.
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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