Illinois' U.S. Senators hope the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the remaining bans on same-sex marriage. Arguments will be heard today on challenges to same-sex marriage bans in Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, and Ohio. U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), one of the first Republicans in Congress to back same-sex marriage, feels it's time for gay couples to be allowed to wed in all 50 states.
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"Freedom of association should mean freedom to marry whoever you want," Kirk said. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin hopes the ruling matches the growing support for same-sex marriage across the country. He says some religious opponents are making false claims about the potential impact of this ruling.
"This does not require any religious group to perform a same-sex marriage," Durbin said. "A religion still has all of its own rights to follow their own doctrines, but in the United States, civil marriage should include marriage equality."
The first part of the arguments will concern whether the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection overrides any state's ban of same-sex marriage, including those included in a state's constitution.
While Illinois already allows same-sex marriage, the second part of the arguments could affect couples married here and later move to another state. Even if bans in individual states are upheld, the Court will also decide whether those states have to recognize such marriages performed elsewhere.