by Todd A. Solomon and Brian J. Tiemann

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.