A ban on same-sex marriage violates the state Constitution's equal protection clause. The law does not allow the state or federal government to create a separate class of marriage based on a person's sexual orientation. There is no other way to describe this than to call it discrimination. That is why, in state court, I have intervened in a lawsuit challenging Illinois' current marriage law, and at the federal level, my office has filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court that support overturning California's same-sex marriage ban and finding the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
Legal arguments aside, this issue at its heart is about one of the most fundamental decisions we can make — with whom to share our lives. In every community in Illinois, same-sex couples have chosen to join together and, in many instances, to raise families of their own. These couples are our relatives and friends, our neighbors, co-workers and parents of our children's classmates. They deserve the same rights and responsibilities that civil marriage offers straight couples.