Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-11-25
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Marriage Equality Bill introduced in Illinois
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Illinois state representatives have filed a much-anticipated marriage equality bill in the Illinois General Assembly, local LGBT groups announced Feb. 8.

Reps. Greg Harris, Deb Mell and Kelly Cassidy have introduced the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, which would allow same-sex couples to marry in Illinois.

"We commend these leaders for taking yet another step towards full equality for lesbian and gay families in Illinois, and we are grateful to them for their leadership. This is just the beginning: the road to marriage equality is sure to be long, but it is one that we must travel together," said LGBT organization Equality Illinois in a statement.

But Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov warns that fight will be far from easy.

"I really do think we will have marriage equality within the near future," Cherkasov said, but added, "I don't think it's going to pass tomorrow."

Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda ( TCRA ) , expressed similar sentiments.

"Marriage has always been one of the principal goals for our organization and we are pleased to finally be able to move forward towards achieving that goal," Martinez said in a statement.

Martinez said the timing is exciting, with the news coming just a day after California's anti-marriage equality amendment Proposition 8 being ruled unconstitutional. Still, Martinez told Windy City Times, the Illinois bill would not likely pass this time around.

"People need to understand that this is not a slam dunk," he said. "We have work to do."

Harris has introduced similar bills in years past, all of which failed. This year, may be no different, said activists.

But Cherkasov added that marriage bills have often been introduced alongside civil union legislation, giving lawmakers the option to choose between the two. Civil unions were less controversial and easier to pass, he said. But the advent of civil unions has shown that "separate but equal" has failed, said Cherkasov.

"What we know now about civil unions is that they haven't worked to provide full equality," he said.

People in same-sex civil unions have reported many circumstances in which they were denied recognition this year in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Revenue originally announced that civil union spouses could not file taxes jointly because Illinois filings are required to match federal filings. Due to the Defense of Marriage Act, same-sex couples cannot file jointly at the federal level. The Department of Revenue later reversed that decision after pressure from LGBT advocates.

A group of lawmakers that also included Ann Williams, Sara Feigenholtz and Senator Heather Steans began talks in January over the latest marriage legislation.


The bill is listed here:

Synopsis As Introduced

Creates the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. Contains provisions regarding purposes, rules of construction, and severability. Provides that: all laws of this State applicable to marriage apply equally to marriages of same-sex and different-sex couples and their children; parties to a marriage and their children, regardless of whether the marriage is of a same-sex or different-sex couple, have the same benefits, protections, and responsibilities under law; parties to a marriage are included in any definition or use of terms such as "spouse", "family", "immediate family", "dependent", "next of kin", "wife", "husband", "bride", "groom", "wedlock", and other terms that refer to or denote the spousal relationship, as those terms are used throughout the law, regardless of whether the parties to a marriage are of the same sex or different sexes; and, to the extent laws this State adopt, refer to, or rely upon provisions of federal law as applicable to this State, parties to a marriage of the same sex and their children shall be treated under the law of this State as if federal law recognized the marriages of same-sex couples in the same manner as the law of this State. Amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act by making various changes concerning: parties who may marry; solemnization; prohibited marriages; jurisdiction; and other matters. Amends the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act. Makes various changes and additions regarding recognition of marriages. Authorizes the voluntary conversion of a civil union to a marriage under specified circumstances. Makes other changes.

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


World news: LGBT Ugandans; Ireland and marriage; trans deaths 2015-11-24
Nat'l roundup: ACA cases; anti-trans petition; anti-LGBT companies; marriage 2015-11-17
Law-school event looks at Obergefell 2015-11-10
Marriage-equality architect Wolfson reflects, looks forward 2015-11-10
Report covers marriage, philanthropy 2015-11-04
World news: Fatal attack; blood ban ends; marriage news 2015-11-03
Outed Goshen candidate still does not support ordinance change 2015-11-01
Zopp: Duckworth inconsistent on marriage equality 2015-11-01
LGBT state leaders to confer on ongoing fight in a marriage equality world 2015-11-01
CELEBRATIONS Wedding: Shayna X Kramer and Larissa Sims 2015-10-28
Advocate Evan Wolfson on ending discrimination 2015-10-28
Attorney who helped defeat DOMA talks about Edie Windsor 2015-10-26
Then Comes Marriage: Kaplan lays it all to bare 2015-10-25
Treasury Department considers rule change reflecting marriage equality 2015-10-22
Victory Fund CEO talks organizing, post-marriage decision 2015-10-14
2015 CRFC Bill of Rights in Action award goes to marriage plaintiffs 2015-10-07
Plaintiff in Supreme Court case Obergefell writes open letter to Kim Davis 2015-10-01
Anti-LGBT pizzeria caters gay wedding 2015-09-29
Pope says government officials can refuse to issue licenses 2015-09-28
World: Marriage stalled; pro-LGBT move in Nepal; rugby partnership 2015-09-23
Obergefell to speak in Chicago Oct. 17 2015-09-23
Gov't: Ireland will recognize marriage 2015-09-23
Guest column: Ode to My Husband 2015-09-23
ACLU: Rowan County Clerk's Office failed to follow court orders 2015-09-21
Commission finds in favor of downstate couple 2015-09-19
Jim Obergefell 2015 HRC Chicago Gala speaker 2015-09-16
Relationships & the Law Today: Importance of estate planning 2015-09-16
Australia ousts Prime Minister who stood in way of marriage equality 2015-09-14
Judge releases Kim Davis, order instructs she not interfere 2015-09-08
U.S. District Court releases Kentucky clerk from custody 2015-09-08
Kentucky clerk jailed; couple get license 2015-09-04
Kentucky clerk refusing licenses ordered jailed 2015-09-03
Supreme Court denies KY County Clerk's request to refuse marriage licenses 2015-08-31
Federation of Gay Games honors Ireland for popular vote for marriage 2015-08-27
Together for 29 years, Hill and Jones leaving Chicago for Santa Fe 2015-08-26
News briefs: Marriage in MI; Clinton rally Sept. 20; College savings accounts 2015-08-25
Pro-marriage equality state Rep. Sullivan won't seek re-election 2015-08-24
Social Security will retroactively grant spousal benefits in Lambda case 2015-08-20
Marriage Equality and Social Justice 2015-08-19
AFER shutting down 2015-08-19

Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.