December 20, 2013

On November 20, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn signed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act (“Act”) into law, making Illinois the 16th state to legalize same-sex marriage. The Act will take effect on June 1, 2014. Currently, Illinois recognizes civil-unions between same-sex partners. Although civil unions are afforded the same benefits and protections of opposite-sex marriages under Illinois law, members of civil unions are not recognized as “spouses” for purposes of federal law. With the passage of the Act, same-sex spouses in Illinois will be entitled to receive the same benefits under federal and Illinois law as those enjoyed by opposite-sex spouses.

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