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Illinois Senate Passes Bill to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

The Illinois Senate voted Thursday, February 14, 2013, in favor of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.  The bill now goes before the Illinois House of Representatives (the House), where greater opposition is expected.  Governor Pat Quinn has indicated he will sign the bill if it is passed by the House.  If enacted, same-sex marriage would become legal in Illinois 30 days after it is enacted.  Illinois would be the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage.  Same-sex marriage is already legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.  In addition, California recognizes same-sex marriages performed between June 17-November 4, 2008.  If same-sex marriage is legalized in Illinois, employers will need to consider whether their benefit plans and procedures need to be updated to address benefit eligibility of same-sex spouses.

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About this Author


Todd A. Solomon is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is based in the Firm’s Chicago office.  Todd focuses his practice primarily on designing, amending, and administering pension plans, profit sharing plans, 401(k) plans, employee stock ownership plans, 403(b) plans, and nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements.  He also counsels privately and publicly held corporations and tax-exempt entities regarding fiduciary issues under ERISA, employee benefits issues involved in corporate transactions, executive compensation matters, and the implementation of...

Brian J. Tiemann, Labor Attorney, McDermott Law Firm

Brian J. Tiemann is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is based in the Firm’s Chicago office.   Brian focuses his practice on a variety of employee benefits matters related to pension plans, 401(k) plans, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), cafeteria and welfare plans, executive compensation and the implementation of benefit programs for domestic partners of employees.  He is a member of the Firm’s ESOP Affinity Group and has worked with clients to structure and maintain the qualified status of their ESOPs with the Internal Revenue Service.