Marissa Meli, 28, and Laura Meli, 27, have been in a relationship for more than eight years, and on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 became the first same-sex couple outside of Cook County to get a marriage license.
Champaign County issued its first marriage license to a same-sex couple Wednesday, the second county in Illinois to do so. Laura and Marissa Meli are University of Illinois law students who've been a couple for eight years.
Governor Pat Quinn took many pens in hand this afternoon and signed the same-sex marriage bill into law. The signing ceremony was held at the University of Illinois - Chicago Forum, on a desk brought up from Springfield. That desk is said to have been used by President Abraham Lincoln to write his first inaugural address.
Illinois will be the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage, after the state House and Senate approved legislation (SB10) today. Governor Pat Quinn says he will sign it into law, and same-sex couples can marry starting next June.
Rain didn't stop advocates for same-sex marriage, who rallied under umbrellas by the hundreds in front of the Illinois Capitol today. A measure to legalize same-sex marriage passed the state Senate earlier this year, but has stalled in the Illinois House.
A judge today threw out a challenge to a lawsuit filed by supporters of same-sex marriage. 25 same-sex couples are suing the state because they were denied marriage licenses. They’re challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
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.”
In a highly anticipated ruling, the Supreme Court ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.
The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, barring federal recognition of same-sex marriages for purposes such as Social Security survivors' benefits, insurance benefits, immigration and tax filing.