As you may know, yesterday, November 5, 2013, was election day across the United States. In addition to the usual news about new governors, mayors, and even Judges, there were some developments on the family law front as well.
Hawaii and Illinois both took major steps yesterday on the road towards same sex marriage in their states. Although these steps occurred in their legislatures, and were not being voted on by the public, the effects of these bills represents a tide change towards greater acceptance of same-sex marriage nationally.
In Illinois, the measure, which had passed the state senate the previous May, was passed by the state House yesterday by a vote of 61-54. Gov. Quinn has promised to sign the Bill into law by the end of the month of November. When the Governor signs the bill, Illinois will become the fifteenth state, and the largest state in the Midwest, to allow same sex couples to be married.
In Hawaii, the state senate passed a bill allowing for same sex marriage on October 30, and the state house has been participating in over 5 days of public comment on the proposed measure. The Chairman of the Hawaii House Judiciary Committee opened the measure to public comment, and over 5,000 people signed up to speak. After everyone was finished speaking, the joint House Judiciary and Finance Committee voted 18-12 to approve the same-sex marriage bill, allowing it to move to a vote of the full Hawaii House.
Both Hawaii and Illinois already allowed civil unions for same sex couples. In Pennsylvania, the ACLU lawsuit is still pending, and the Court has not yet issued a ruling. With these two additional states moving on same sex marriage, 2013 has proven to be a big year for same sex marriage advocates. What will happen by the end of 2013, and into 2014? Our Allegheny County LGBT rights attorneys are keeping an eye out. Contact us to discuss your case today!