Four prominent conservatives, including former St. Charles County Executive Joe Ortwerth, have filed suit challenging Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s recent executive order to allow same-sex couples who have married in other states to file joint tax returns in Missouri.
Illinois is now the 16th state to allow same-sex marriage.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law Wednesday in Chicago that makes the state the largest in the Midwest to legalize gay weddings. The law takes effect in June when county clerks can begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Illinois allowed civil unions in 2011, but it was a bumpy road to same-sex marriage in President Barack Obama's home state.
Gay rights activists view the recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage as a victory.
In two 5-4 decisions, the Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and effectively put to rest California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage by ruling that its supporters did not have standing to challenge a lower court’s ruling that the measure was unconstitutional.
Gay and lesbian couples who are legally married in the 12 states that, along with Washington, D.C., allow same-sex marriages will be able to access federal marriage benefits such as tax breaks.
The 5-4 ruling issued by the U.S. Supreme Court just moments ago says the Federal Defense of Marriage Act violates the 5th Amendment by "singl[ing] out a class of persons deemed by a state entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty."