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Gay Marriage Lawsuit Plaintiffs Urge Legislature to Pass Same Sex Marriage Bill

Posted on in Family Law
Plaintiffs involved in a civil lawsuit challenging the legality of a state law that prohibits the recognition of same-sex marriages have issued a statement, urging Illinois lawmakers to vote for a bill that would legalize gay marriages. In May of this year, Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois filed two separate lawsuits seeking marriage rights for Illinois gay and lesbians. Combined, the two cases represent 25 couples. As reported in the Chicago Phoenix, 20 of the plaintiffs from the case, along with several state legislators, attended a press conference in Springfield to voice their support for the bill, which has been stalled in rules committee until enough votes can be garnered for passage, which could possibly take place early next year.  Anne Dickey, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit stated, "We want our lawmakers to know how important this is to our family it is through the courts or the legislature, we need the freedom to marry.” Same sex couples have been able to enter into civil unions in Illinois in June, 2011.  However, many couples in the lawsuit say that civil unions make them feel like second-class citizens. A civil union does not afford all the same benefits to a couple that a legal marriage does. For example, one partner does not have the power to decide medical treatment for the other and it doesn’t give them the right to inherit a partner's property. Chicago Police detective Tanya Lazaro, another plaintiff in one of the lawsuits said, "It's not the same thing as a marriage. We want our relationship, our love and our commitment we've shown for fifteen years to be recognized like everybody else's. When you're growing up, you don't dream of civil unions." Until the state legislature votes to change the law, the only current option same sex couples have is civil union. If you have questions or need legal advice regarding a civil union, consult with an experienced Kane County family law attorney.
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