Same-Sex Marriage Raises Questions for Illinois Businesses

gay marriage, Illinois small business lawyer, small business attorney, same sex marriage, wedding, marriageIllinois businesses involved in the wedding industry may find themselves facing a dilemma as same-sex couples begin to legally marry in 2014. The legislation, which was signed into law in 2013, may require some business owners to violate their personal beliefs in order to stay within the law.

According to the Quad-City Times court battles have already broken out in other states where same-sex marriage is legal. In New Mexico, a business that refused to photograph a same-sex couple’s marriage was convicted of violating anti-discrimination law. In Washington, a flower shop owner faced a lawsuit for refusing service to same-sex couples.

While many doubt whether this will be an issue in Illinois, the state is already seeing some contention on the issue. Currently an Illinois bed and breakfast who refused to perform a civil union for a same-sex couple is currently facing complaints before the Illinois Human Rights Coalition. The couple who owns the business oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds.

According to Illinois ACLU spokesman Ed Yohnka however, businesses that provide a public service are not allowed to discriminate regardless of their owner’s personal beliefs. The Illinois Human Rights Act protects anyone’s right to receive service, and businesses who have chosen to offer a service to the public must offer it to all, regardless of race, religion, and sexual orientation.

Illinois’ same-sex marriage law officially takes effect on June 1, 2014.

If your businesses provides services to the public and you are concerned over how this new law may affect you, or if you are facing a complaint for any other reason, do not try to interpret the law on your own. Contact a qualified Illinois business law attorney for help today. We can ensure that you are operating within the boundaries of the law and help you ensure that your side of any issue is told in court.