Same-sex couples in Illinois had the right to marry thanks to a state law. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled it’s a constitutional right.
Illinois now has the distinction of being one of the final states to pass a same-sex marriage law, as the ruling legalizes those unions in all parts of the U.S. To Equality Illinois chief executive Bernard Cherkasov, it’s a day he’s been waiting to see for most of his life.
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“It does feel great to live in this moment,” Cherkasov said. “I know people who have fought for this moment for generations, and many did not live to see this moment in their lifetimes, but to see the Supreme Court opinion, to read it, it just feels so validating.”
For Illinois same-sex couples, the ruling means their marriages will be recognized in all states.
Illinois politicians from both political parties are applauding the ruling.
“The decision by the Supreme Court affirms that same-sex couples across the nation have the right to marry whom they love and to participate fully - with their families - in the rights and responsibilities of marriage. Another step in the march toward equal rights has been taken today,” said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), one of the first Republicans in Congress to come out in favor of same-sex marriage, said “As Americans, we believe in human rights, civil rights and dignity. Today’s ruling recognizes that our gay friends, family members, and neighbors are deserving of the same right to commit to the one they love.”