Anderson & Boback Logo

Lawmakers Approve Gay Marriage in Illinois

Categorized as Illinois Family Law, Same Sex Divorce

A bill legalizing same-sex marriages has passed the Illinois House and Senate.  The law will make Illinois the 15th state in the country to sanction same-sex marriage, along with the District of Columbia.

Below are answers to some questions about what the same-sex marriage law will mean in Illinois:

Q: What is the difference between marriage and civil unions?

A: Civil unions are a political compromise that some states have used to grant spousal rights to same-sex couples. In Illinois, civil unions are allowed for same-sex and                          heterosexual couples.  In Illinois, civil unions allow tax relief, emergency medical decision-making power and the right to control disposition of remains, among other things.                    But the confusion about civil unions can cause couples to be denied benefits or treated differently. Legalizing same-sex marriage will do away with the distinction.

Q: Will same-sex marriages from out of state be recognized in Illinois?

A: Yes. Marriages that were legally entered into in other states and countries will be recognized here.

Q: Will same-sex marriages in Illinois be recognized by the federal government?

A: Yes. The federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman, was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier                     this year.

Q: Are there other states that will recognize an Illinois same-sex marriage?

A: Yes. Those states are California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington, Delaware,                               Minnesota, Rhode Island plus the District of Columbia.

Q: What will happen to existing civil unions?

A: The new marriage law does not change the existing civil union law. Civil unions will still be available to same-sex and heterosexual couples.

Same-sex couples who want to convert their civil union to a marriage can do so, with or without performing a new ceremony, for up to one year from the date that the                            marriage law takes effect. Those couples will be exempt from paying a fee. The date of the marriage will be recorded as the date of the original civil union.

Couples who wait longer than one year will have to perform a new ceremony and pay a fee.

Q: When would the new law take effect?

A: The law will go into effect June 1, 2014 at which time county clerks can begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Illinois requires a one-day waiting period for                 marriages, so the earliest a ceremony could be held is June 2.

Was this information helpful?

You May Also Like

Maintenance, formerly known as alimony, is a relief granted to a party in a dissolution of marriage case that equitably restores to the party a standard of living to which they became acclimated during the marriage.  For spouses going through…

Visitation interference occurs when the custodial parent in some way interferes with your ability to spend parenting time with your child or visit with them.  In Illinois, a parent has a couple of options when the other parent interferes with…

We receive inquiries regularly from parents of children in Illinois regarding whether or not they can remove their child from the state of Illinois when they are estranged from their child’s other parent.  The answer varies, depending on different situations.…

People often are confused about the difference between a Civil Union and a Domestic Partnership, and what their rights are if their partner, to whom they are not married, leaves them or predeceases them.  This blog is designed to explain…

One of the most hot-button terms in parenting cases in Cook County is “alienation”, meaning that one parent is actively seeking to keep the child from having a relationship with their other parents. The current laws on parenting favor both…

In Illinois, there are two main ways to go about changing your minor child’s name: by agreement, and by Court adjudication of the issue.  As with all things related to co-parenting a minor child, the easiest and least costly method…

Anderson & Boback small logo

Download our Divorce Planning Guide today!

Get the information you need to prepare for divorce with our free resource Guide to Planning for Your Divorce.

What our clients are saying

Schedule a Discreet Consultation Today!

    Firm Overview

    Anderson & Boback is a highly-respected, experienced Chicago family law firm, skilled in negotiation and litigation. When divorce and other family law issues make your life chaotic and uncertain, you want your case resolved as quickly and fairly as possible. Call Now 312-715-0870