The movement for marriage-equality in Illinois did not stay stalled for long. Although the movement came up short after a bill that passed in the Senate but languished in the House, a coalition championing the cause, Illinois Unites for Marriage, announced that it has built up a $2 million war chest for the next legislative session. The group is ramping up to psh for the bill to be made a law, will also work to reach supporters with the help of over a dozen field organizers working in different areas of the state.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard not one, but two cases that may have important implications for same-sex partners in Illinois. One case involves the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which blocks legally married same-sex couples from many federal benefits that straight couples enjoy. The other case concerns California's Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage.
Same sex marriage has been a polarizing issue in American politics for a number of years. With divergent attitudes among the states, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, understanding how federal courts will decide complex legal issues involving same-sex couples and adoption remains unclear. In fact, Illinois same sex couples may be interested to learn about a recent decision made by a Michigan federal judge.
The Illinois State Senate recently voted 34 to 21 in favor of allowing gay couples to marry, with the measure receiving four more votes than the bare minimum it needed to pass. Any upcoming vote in the House is likely to be more contested and difficult to win, but some politicians have said they expect the House to pass the bill in a matter of weeks. If that happens, Governor Quinn has agreed to sign the bill into law, which would make Illinois the latest state to officially legalize gay marriage.