As of December 13, 2022, the Respect for Marriage Act enshrining same-sex marriage into the US Consitution, was passed to provide legal protection nationwide. This long-awaited legislation offers federal protections for same-sex couples across the country.
Prior to this past December, the laws protecting the LGBTQ community were as confusing as they were varied, differing from state to state. Some states provided full protection, while other states provided partial protections, and still other states provided none.
Fortunately, our home state of Illinois is one of the states that was early to provide full protection for all members of the LGBTQ community. That does not mean the struggles disappear, however, as many members of the LGBTQ community face discrimination of some sort every day.
Is it Legal to Discriminate Against LGBTQ Individuals in Illinois?
No, it is not legal to discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community. On January 21, 2005, an amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act was signed designating the prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation.
When Did LGBTQ Individuals Earn Protection Under the Law?
Providing further protection, the Illinois Human Rights Act amendment went into effect in January 2006, ostensibly protecting LGBTQ individuals from being denied employment, housing, public accommodations, and financial transactions.
Where Is LGBTQ Marriage Legal?
To date, 37 states in our country allow LGBTQ marriage under state law. This includes Illinois, which made it legal in 2014. However, despite the Respect for Marriage Act being implemented, certain states may choose not to issue marriage licenses to LGBTQ couples. These situations often end up in court and are usually circumvented by traveling to another state to get married. Conversely, the new law makes it mandatory that all 50 states recognize LGBTQ marriages, no matter what state the marriage was performed in.
Legal Support for LGBTQ Community Members
Here at Metz + Jones, we believe in equal rights for all, no matter an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. We also provide unequaled legal services for LGBTQ couples and families. For instance, if you are planning on getting married soon, you might want to learn more about creating a prenuptial agreement.
Whether you are seeking legal advice prior to getting married, or need assistance with second parent adoption, we are here to assist with all your family law needs. We invite you to call us with any questions you may have or to schedule your free case evaluation today.