A federal Court of Appeals in Boston has found the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
The 1996 law defines marriage as an institution between a man and a woman, discriminating against same-sex couples.
"Under current Supreme Court authority, Congress' denial of federal benefits to same-sex couples lawfully married in Massachusetts has not been adequately supported by any permissible federal interest," wrote Judge Michael Boudin, a member of the three-judge panel.
Yesterday, the ACLU and Lambda Legal filed suit against the Cook County Clerk's office for failing to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Cook County Clerk David Orr responding with a statement including the following:
The time is long past due for the State of Illinois to allow county clerks to issue marriage licenses to couples who want to make that commitment. I hope this lawsuit clears the last hurdle to achieving equal marriage rights for all.
The courts have overcome discriminatory laws in the past and I trust they will do so again. Marriage equality is already the law in New York, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire and the District of Columbia, and similar laws are pending elsewhere.
As everyone who has followed this issue knows, I fully support the right of people to marry, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. Nobody should have to pass a gender test to get a marriage license. ...
Marriage, like a civil union, should be a gender-blind covenant. We cannot be satisfied until all couples can marry and are treated equally under the law in Illinois, and in all the United States.