Many same-sex partners in Illinois have been eagerly anticipating June 1, 2014. That is the day state law allowing same-sex marriage will go into effect. However, Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants to speed up the process. She has been encouraging counties to provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This encouragement comes in the wake of a federal court ruling giving the green light to Cook County same-sex couples getting married before June 1.
Many Illinoisans have been watching as the issue of same-sex marriage has come up in the courts of several other states. The first step came with the United States Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor, which ruled that same-sex couples are entitled to equal treatment in some circumstances. That decision has sparked a new round of litigation in state courts.
For many same-sex partners in Illinois, June 1 cannot get here fast enough. But while June 1, which is the day same-sex couples can get married, represents a major milestone, it does not mean same-sex couples will cease having to worry about legal obstacles.
With a stroke of a pen, Illinois now recognizes same-sex marriages. The passage culminates after a long and difficult journey that saw the legislation pass in the Senate, then languish in the House last session.