Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Paving Legal Precedents?

Jul 30, 2013

The latest ruling by a federal judge on same-sex marriage is giving a boost to supporters in Illinois. A spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois calls a recent decision allowing an Ohio couple’s same-sex marriage to stand “incredibly humane.” 

Signs at a civil unions rally in Sycamore, IL
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

 Gay marriage is banned in Ohio, but a federal judge ruled the state had to recognize a marriage performed in Maryland: one of the men is dying and wants to make sure his partner will someday be allowed to be buried in his family plot.

The ACLU’s Ed Yohnka says the Supreme Court’s move to strike down portions of the Defense of Marriage Act last month played a big role in this judge’s decision:

I think there is no question that the Windsor Decision, decisions like this one, will impact the litigation that is ongoing here in the state of Illinois for the freedom to marry and in states all across the country.

Meanwhile, Illinois is seen as one of a handful of “battlegrounds” for the same-sex marriage debate. State lawmakers could take up the issue again this fall. And 25 couples have sued the state, challenging the ban on same sex marriage.