Illinois Lawsuits Expected To Be Filed Today Challenging Gay Marriage Ban

by Beverly A. Pekala on May 30, 2012

Over two dozen gay and lesbian couples are expected to file lawsuits in Illinois today claiming that it’s unconstitutional for Illinois to deny them the legal right to marry.  The lawsuits are supported by the ACLU and Lambda Legal, a gay advocacy group. The suits are expected to challenge Illinois law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

One year ago, June 1, 2011, Illinois enacted Illinois Civil Unions, which allow for both opposite sex couples and same sex couples to enter into a legally recognized relationship known as a civil union. The lawsuits to be filed today will likely argue that the protections afforded to Illinois civil union couples are insufficient and deny same sex couples equal protection under Illinois law.

The District of Columbia and six states have legalized gay marriage, including Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Iowa, and New York.

Recent polls show public support for same sex marriage has been increasing, and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has voiced support for gay marriage.

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