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Illinois assembly members file brief against gay marriage suit

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Eleven Republican and Democratic members of the Illinois General Assembly have taken a stance against same-sex marriage. Headed by Republican Senator Kirk Dillard of Westmont and Democratic Senator Bill Haine of Alton, the group of politicians filed an amicus curiae brief in defense of the current Illinois statutory definition of marriage as being between a husband and wife. The brief was filed in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal. The suit challenges the state's prohibition on same sex partner marriages, arguing that the ban is illegal under the Illinois constitution.

Other assembly members to sign the brief include Representative David Reis, Senator Matt Murphy, Representative Michael Connelly, Senator Darrin LaHood, Representative Richard Morthland, Senator Bill Brady, Representative Patti Bellock, Representative Joseph Lyons and Representative Paul Evans.

While the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act currently defines marriage as a being between a husband and wife, same-sex couples can still undertake steps to protect their interests. For example, same-sex couples should make sure to plan for the disposition of their estate in order to protect the rights of the surviving partner. Lesbian and gay couples may also want to make arrangements to assign one another power of attorney so that they have the ability to handle vital financial decisions should the other become incapacitated.

In addition, a life partnership agreement is available in Illinois. Forming such a contract can help ease the transition into singlehood if the partners ever decide to part ways. For example, life partnership agreements allow couples to address things such as shared property and child custody long before they become points of contention.

Source:, "Illinois Legislators Oppose Gay Marriage Lawsuit and Show Legal Support for Traditional Marriage," Tom Ciesielka, Aug. 31, 2012


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