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Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on Marriage Equality

Posted on in Family Law

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to review two cases regarding same-sex marriage, in what the Associated Press calls a “potentially historic” hearing “challenging governments’ different treatment of gay Americans.” The first is the Defense of Marriage Act that states that the federal government will only recognize marriage as the union between two people of the opposite sex. The law has faced intense criticism since its inception in 1996, and been upheld several times by circuit courts across the nation. The other ruling that the country’s highest court will debate next year is California’s Prop 8, which, according to the Associated Press, is the state’s constitutional amendment that forbids same-sex marriage. The anticipated 2013 hearing will be the first time that the Supreme Court will address the question of same-sex marriage.  It’s not the first time in recent history that the status of gay and lesbian citizens has been addressed in the Supreme Court, however. In 2003, according to PolicyMic.com, the Justices ruled 6–3 against a Texas law criminalizing gay sex as an unconstitutional violation of privacy. “Since then,” according to PolicyMic, “nine states have legalized same-sex marriage, the Obama administration formally repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the policy that prevented gays from serving opening in the military, and formally stopped defending against legal challenges to DOMA.” It’s no secret that the Obama Administration is staunchly against the Defense of Marriage Act, and most legal experts agree that the Supreme Court ruling, expected in June of next year, will repeal the controversial legislation. The state of Illinois has recognized same-sex unions since June 2011. In the first six months that the state offered civil unions, according to Illinois Issues, about 3,700 couples sought civil union licenses. Yet if gay marriage, not just civil unions, are legalized—and on a national level—the unions recognized in Illinois would be legitimate across the country. If you or someone you know is seeking information about gay marriage or civil unions in Illinois, contact a dedicated Illinois family law attorney today. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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