Supreme Court rulings major victory for same-sex marriage; Local leaders speak out

The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave proponents of same-sex marriage two major victories — striking down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act that denied the same benefits provided to heterosexual spouses to legally married same-sex couples, and allowing same-sex marriages to resume in California.

The news ignited responses on both sides of the issue in Chicago

Chicago alderman James Cappleman celebrated today’s ruling at city hall with his partner Richard.

“It’s an incredible decision,” he said. “It’s a decision I never dreamed possible. We want our civil union upgraded to full marriage.”

Mayor Emanuel said today’s rulings are a step forward for civil rights and justice.

“We don’t need to be standing in the way where two individuals love each other, want to build a family,” he said.
Supporters held a march down Halsted tonight in honor of today’s historic rulings.  Hundreds of activists and supporters gathered at the intersection of Halsted and Roscoe to celebrate two big wins for same sex couples.

“It’s an enormous victory for the LGBT community across the country,” said Christopher Clark, an attorney at Lambda Legal.  “The supreme court said today that it is unacceptable under the federal constitution to treat our families as 2nd class citizens”

But some say there is more work to be done.

“We made tremendous progress today but we still have 37 states without marriage equality let alone job protections and other basic civil rights,” said Andy Thayer, Gay Rights Activist.

Activists are hoping today’s Supreme Court rulings will give momentum to Illinois legislators.