Same-sex marriage: First couple weds in France; Illinois House likely to vote

May 29th, 2013 | by Drew Schmenner | Comments

As the weeks dwindle before the U.S. Supreme Court rules on two landmark same-sex marriage cases, stories in France have made headlines this week, and there could be news out of Illinois by the end of week.

Today, Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau became the first same-sex couple in France to wed more than a week after President Francois Hollande signed a controversial same-sex marriage bill into law. Opponents continue to protest the law as about 150,000 people marched in Paris on Sunday. In another display of the significant media interest in same-sex marriage, about 200 journalists received credentials to cover Autin and Boileau’s wedding, according to CNN, while 500 guests attended the ceremony.

France is now the ninth European country to allow same-sex couples to wed, joining Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Italy is the anomaly in Western Europe, as The New York Times reported Monday as it detailed a symbolic same-sex wedding in Rome; unlike the United Kingdom, Ireland and other countries in the region, same-sex partnerships aren’t even legal in Italy.

Across the Atlantic, Illinois could become the 13th state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. The state Senate has already passed legislation, and a vote is expected in the House on the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act before it adjourns Friday. Proponents and opponents of the bill are trying to persuade undecided legislators; Rep. LaShawn Ford voiced his support for the law to on Monday.

As for when the Supreme Court will announce its rulings on the constitutionality of California’s same-sex marriage ban and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, justices could wait until the final day of their term because of the magnitude of the cases. Last year, the Supreme Court waited until its last session to announce its decision on the Affordable Care Act, the controversial health care legislation. The last session is scheduled for June 24, but that date is not set in stone.

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