Interactive Civil Liberties Human Rights Conference ~ Saturday, December 1 ~ VenueSIX10, 610 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Winning the Freedom to Marry for Same-Sex Couples

Time: 11:15 am – 12:15 pm
Location: Landmark Room – 10th Floor
CLE credit pending.

Moderator: Jill M. Metz- President of the Board of Directors for the ACLU of Illinois
Khadine Bennett – Legislative Counsel, ACLU of Illinois
Karen Sheley – Staff Counsel, ACLU of Illinois
Frank Baiocchi & Robert Hunt

The movement to secure the freedom to marry is advancing at a pace that few would have imagined just a few short years ago. With electoral victories in four states — Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington — and other states considering legislative and judicial action, some observers suggest that 25% of all Americans could reside in a state that recognizes the freedom to marry for same sex couples by the end of 2013. The basis for these new successes can be found in growing public support for the freedom to marry across the nation. National and state public opinion polls regularly reveal a majority support for marriage, support that is built on Americans changing their minds — that is, individuals who previously said they opposed the freedom to marry now stand willing to support marriage at the ballot box.

The session will explore the status of marriage laws across the nation, look at the arguments being used to win marriage in the courts and in the legislature, consider the impact of the current status of litigation regarding the federal Defense of Marriage Act on state marriage laws and learn the status of litigation and legislative efforts to win the freedom to marry in Illinois. We also will hear directly from a couple with an Illinois civil union who will explain why that status is not enough and why they want to be married in Illinois.

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