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Chicago Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Family > Is My Marriage Legally Valid? The State Of Same-Sex Marriage In Chicago And In The United States

Is My Marriage Legally Valid? The State Of Same-Sex Marriage In Chicago And In The United States


According to a June, 2022, Gallup poll, 71% of Americans say that they support same-sex marriage. In 1996, that number was only 27%. With more than a majority of Americans now in support of same-sex unions, it is no surprise that in 2022, the United States Federal Government finally took steps to protect and support same-sex unions in states where they are legally recognized. But the legality and validity of same-sex marriage is a confusing topic for many Americans, as a patchwork of laws and condemnation, then hesitation, of the United States federal government to protect the rights of same-sex couples has prevailed over the past decades. Many same-sex couples, especially when it comes to legal matters such as adoption and divorce, may wonder if their marriage is legally recognized at all in the state where they live.

The 2022 Respect for Marriage Act: Federal Law Regarding Same-Sex Marriages in the United States

In December, 2022, President Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law. The Act aimed to do two primary things. First, The Act would require the federal government to legally recognize a marriage between same-sex individuals if the marriage was valid in the state where the marriage proceedings were performed. Secondly, the bill would “guarantee that valid marriages between individuals are given full faith and credit, regardless of the couple’s sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin….” However, the Act would not require a state to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple if doing so would conflict with state law. Importantly, while not every state in the United States protects same-sex marriage by state constitution, the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

Same Sex Marriage in Chicago

In June, 2014, the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act took effect, and same-sex marriages in Chicago and throughout Illinois became protected. Thus, in Illinois, under both Illinois state law, and the federal Respect for Marriage Act, same-sex marriages are legally valid. However, same-sex couples may still wonder what their rights are when it comes to marriage and adoption matters. The best resource for finding out what your rights are when it comes to matters regarding marriage, adoption, separation, or divorce, is an experienced Chicago family lawyer.

Help with Same-Sex Marriages and Divorces in Chicago

If you have questions about your rights when it comes to marriage, divorce, separation, adoption, prenuptial agreements, or other family law issues, and you are located in the Chicago area, the experienced Chicago family lawyers at the law firm Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC are here to help. You can schedule a completely confidential consultation to speak with an attorney about your specific case to understand your rights and options and to see if they can help you. Contact the experienced Chicago family lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC today to speak to an attorney about your case.



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