Illinois approves same-sex marriage

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(BDCi) – Illinois is one of four states with a civil union law for same-sex couples, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Another five states and the District of Columbia issue marriage licenses for same sex couples, NCSL said.

California had issued licenses, but Proposition 8 amended the constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. A federal judge found the same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, a decision which is now being appealed.

The Illinois law recognizes unions performed in other jurisdictions.

An anti-gay group, Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, called Quinn’s planned presence at Thursday’s ceremony “an act of hubris and defiance toward the Creator,” in a statement Wednesday.

The Illinois law gives same-sex couples the same rights, benefits and responsibilities of married couples under Illinois law, including rights of hospital visitation and shared parental rights, explained Christopher Clark, senior staff attorney for the gay rights law group Lambda Legal. The new rights do not include those provided married couples under federal law, such as receipt of a partner’s Social Security benefits.

“This is an important step on our march to equality,” said Clark. “Federal law has to change.”

Staff Writer

Source: Reuters

June 2, 2011

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