Marriage Equality

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Update 2/21/2014:

Today, a federal judge ruled in favor of couples who sought to move up the effective date of the marriage equality law from June 1 and ordered Cook County Clerk David Orr to begin issuing marriage licenses to same gender couples immediately.  Clerk Orr has been a long time advocate for marriage equality and enthusiastically complied.  For those considering whether the decision should impact their plans, here is a fact sheet produced by Lambda Legal that lays out the implications of today’s decision.

I am proud that our state has made this critical step in extending equality to many in our state. I have gotten thousands of calls, letters, emails and visits from constituents in support of this bill, which by now many know is a deeply personal bill. I am thankful to my colleagues for their help in making this day a success.

Until the effective date, same gender couples in civil unions do not have access to the more than 1,000 federal benefits couples in states with marriage equality do. Couples married in other states but living here in Illinois do have access to many of the benefits. Between now and then, please feel free to contact my office with any questions you have about legal status or implementation of marriage equality.

Thank you to all the advocates, colleagues, friends and families who helped make this possible.

Important Documents and Resources

For couples that involve someone facing a life threatening illness, a federal judge has ordered the granting of emergency marriage licenses. Click here for more information, and here for the application form. Contact our office if you need assistance during this process.

For a comprehensive source of information on marriage equality, you can visit Equality Illinois here.

For information on the repeal of DOMA, you can visit Lambda Legal here.

The IRS and Treasury have released a guide for same sex couples married under state law.

Additionally. Equality Illinois has opened a Marriage Help Desk to assist with any questions you may have. They are available via phone from 11am-2pm Monday through Friday at 773-477-7173 or via email at


Speech on floor

Marriage Equality Forum