SCOTUS DOMA ruling provides momentum for Illinois legislation

On behalf of <span class="byline-firm-name">Lake Toback Attorneys</span>

A Supreme Court ruling on June 26 didn’t legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois, but advocates are hopeful the ruling will encourage passage of the state’s pending same-sex marriage legislation. The United States Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act, which brought a halt to same-sex marriages on California, was unconstitutional. The ruling allowed California to resume same-sex marriages and opened the door for LGBT spouses to receive Social Security benefits and file joint tax returns.

Same-sex marriage legislation sponsored by Representative Greg Harris is pending in the state legislature. The bill was approved by the state Senate in February, but it was pulled from the House’s agenda on the last day of the spring legislative session. Many observers were surprised that the bill was pulled, but Rep. Harris said that members of the House needed more time to consider the bill.

Many same-sex marriage supporters believe the Supreme Court’s ruling will provide momentum for the state’s bill when it comes up for vote in the fall. One supporter said that the ruling highlights the fight for marriage freedom and that his group would echo that sentiment to local lawmakers. Representative Harris said he was happy with the ruling and that it sends a message to lawmakers that marriages laws should not vary based on sexual preferences.

While the Supreme Court’s ruling is significant step forward for same-sex marriage, it does not change the current Illinois law. Same-sex couples wishing to enter into a union still face a host of complicated issues, including property titling and division, estate planning and possible child custody arrangements should the union dissolve. An attorney with same-sex marriage and union experience could help couples strengthen their union by planning appropriately.

Source: Huffington Post, “Illinois Gay Marriage: Supreme Court’s DOMA Decision May Push State Pols, Advocates Hope“, July 26, 2013

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SCOTUS DOMA ruling provides momentum for Illinois legislation