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Same-Sex Marriage

A Guide to Finding Government Information

Web version of this guide includes links to web resources.

Search Tips:

Mix and match these terms in searching the library catalog, WestCat , or use them to search journal articles and law reviews via the library's Databases page. You can also use them to search government information sites listed on our Starting Points page - click the tab and pay particular attention to the Top Six.

  • same-sex marriage
  • gay rights
  • marriage law
  • family policy
  • husband and wife
  • gay couples
  • gays legal status
  • lesbian couples

Related Topics:
  • gay parents
  • civil unions
  • gay adoption

An important source for many research topics is Congress. Congressional committees and subcommittees hold hearings on a wide variety of controversial and timely subjects. Simply add the word "hearing?" to a search string in WestCat .

Search Engines

Google and StartPage
Use these search engines to search for government information by typing "site:gov" in the search box preceding your search terms:

  • site:gov "same-sex marriage"
  • site:mil gay marriage

Federal Government Information
Obergefell v. Hodges

The Supreme Court Opinion that legalized same-sex marriage in the United States by denying states the right to define marriage.

United States v. Windsor

The Supreme Court declares the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, allowing states to define marriage. This creates the problem of federal benefits extending only to some same-sex spouses.

Gay Marriage, Same-Sex Parenting, and America's Children

This article discusses studies that have attempted to discern whether children are adversely affected by same-sex parents and what effect gay marriage would have to the children of a same-sex household.

Defense of Marriage Act

This congressional hearing examines the purpose of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Defense of Marriage Act: Update to Prior Report

This is a list of federal laws subject to the interpretation of spouse/marriage by the Defense of Marriage Act for the purpose of benefits, rights, and privileges.

Statement of the Attorney General on Litigation Involving the Defense of Marriage Act

This is the statement issued by Attorney General Holder concerning a directive from President Obama not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court due to his belief in it being unconstitutional.

House Concurrent Resolution 25

This is the resolution passed in the House of Representatives condemning President Obama's directive to Attorney General Holder not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court.

House Resolution 143

This resolution directs the Speaker of the House to take any and all actions necessary to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court.

Illinois Government Information
Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act

This Act, in effect as of June 1, 2011, gives all the rights, benefits and responsibilities of marital spouses (under Illinois law) to partners of civil unions.
750 ILCS 75/

Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act

This law concerning marriage and divorce in Illinois now also covers civil unions and dissolving civil unions.
750 ILCS 5/

Legal Information
Gay Rights on Trial: a Reference Handbook

This handbook provides a good foundation for the study of the gay rights struggle. It starts with a historical background (back to the 1600's) and includes legal cases and other important documents, concepts and people.
LEGLREF. KF4754.5 .W35 2002

Unmarried Partners: Estate Planning and Property and Parental Rights

This practice book covers, property rights, parental rights, discrimination and estate planning for unmarried partners and same-sex couples.
LEGLREF. KFI1302 .N45 2010

Sexual Orientation and the Law

This treatise includes a large section on family and property law for same-sex couples, includes forms.
LEGLREF. KF4754.5 .S493 2012

Homosexuality and the Constitution

This treatise discusses Supreme Court decisions concerning family law and same-sex couples.
LEGLREF. KF4754.5 .H64 1997

Stangers in the Eyes of the Law : 648 Reasons Why Marriage Equality Matters

This is a compendium of all the statutes and regulations in Illinois law where marital spouses are given special responsibilities, rights and benefits.
LEGLREF. KFI1294 .S76 2009

"A Guide to the New Illinois Civil Union Law."

This article briefly analyzes the effect of the new law in terms of estate law, divorce, family law, and state benefits.
Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 99, No. 5, P.232

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