Same-Sex Marriage

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Will be updated further.

Updated 9:39 a.m. Nov. 6:

The final step to make same-sex marriage legal in Illinois, Gov. Quinn's signature, will come this month at a big event, Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky reports:

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled against the same-sex partner of a deceased highway patrolman who has been trying for almost four years to obtain survivor's benefits.

The effect will likely bar anyone in a same-sex relationship in Missouri from collecting survivor's benefits.

via Flickr/BluEyedA73

Twenty five same-sex couples want to see a quick verdict in their lawsuits regarding the Illinois gay marriage ban.

Attorneys representing the couples suing over the ban asked a judge Wednesday to rule through summary judgment. 

Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois filed a motion Wednesday for a judge to rule quickly in the couples’ favor.

via Flickr/BluEyedA73

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the big question is: What happens next?

For married couples in states that recognized same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court's decision means access to well over a thousand federal benefits. That includes, but isn’t limited to, filing joint income tax returns, receiving Social Security benefits and military spousal benefits.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In a major ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned on Wednesday the Defense of Marriage Act, declaring that legally married same-sex couples deserve the same federal benefits that go to all other married couples. The court's decision would allow same-sex married couples to file joint federal tax returns, obtain Social Security benefits and be exempted from estate taxes, among other things.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When Novak’s lesbian bar opened in 1996, same-sex sex was illegal, marriage equality was unheard of and I was a suburban stay-at-home mom, married to a man.

The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision Wednesday to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act is a monumental victory for advocates of same-sex marriage.

But what happens now that the 1996 federal law that confines marriage to a man and a woman has been declared unconstitutional?

Will federal benefits flow only to same-sex married couples living in states that recognize their unions?

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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."

Proposition 8

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The sponsor of same-sex marriage legislation is facing a backlash for not calling it for a vote before the Illinois General Assembly adjourned on Friday. 

Gay rights activists praised Rep. Greg Harris in 2011 for helping pass civil unions. Some of those same activists are now criticizing him.

(Sean Powers/WILL)

Updated: 3:46 p.m., 5:54 p.m.

Republican Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois has released a statement today in support of same-sex marriage.

On his website, Kirk says "life comes down to who you love and who loves you back:"

When I climbed the Capitol steps in January, I promised myself that I would return to the Senate with an open mind and greater respect for others.

 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon:Should the U.S. Supreme Court pay attention to the elections or the opinion polls in deciding what the Constitution means?

Should the court be an engine of social change – as it was during the Warren Court of the 1950s and '60s – or should it avoid getting too far ahead of the American public?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Gov. Jay Nixon brushed off questions yesterday about gay marriage, an issue  now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

But Nixon, a Democrat, did express support for adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s anti-discrimination statutes. That's become an increasingly visible priority among gay rights groups and their allies.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: After the first of two days of historic legal arguments on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, the betting line hasn’t changed: The U.S. Supreme Court likely will look for a way to avoid a broad ruling recognizing or rejecting gay marriage but will likely strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Mary Ziegler, a professor at Saint Louis University Law School, put it this way: “Based on the comments, there isn’t any appetite to do anything broad -- either that there is a right for gay couples to marry or there isn’t.”

A GOP plan for Medicaid expansion in the Missouri House would add fewer adults to the plan than the one Governor Jay Nixon has proposed. But during a stop in Kirkwood Tuesday, the Democrat praised the progress in the Republican-controlled House.

Under the Affordable Care Act, states have to expand the Medicaid requirement to 138 percent of the poverty line in order to accept the federal funds that go with it.

Currently in Missouri, those making an income of less than $4,5000 a year for a family of four qualify.

(Our most recent update was at 12:50 p.m. ET.)

The Supreme Court of Missouri
via Flickr | david_shane

Should certain state benefits be limited only to married couples, even though that could discriminate against gays and lesbians in Missouri?

That's one of the questions the Missouri Supreme Court will be considering after hearing arguments today in the case of Kelly Glossip, whose partner, Cpl. Dennis Englehard, was killed in the line of duty as a state trooper.

Flickr/ TylerIngram

An Illinois House Committee could vote as early as today on a measure granting equal marriage rights to same-sex couples. The bill would need to be approved by the House Executive Committee, and then voted on in the full body.

Democratic Representative Greg Harris, who sponsored the bill, says that he expects the committee to approve the legislation.

The Illinois State Senate approved the bill on Valentine’s Day, with Democratic backing and a single Republican vote.

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