Gay rights setback seen in Illinois Supreme Court ruling

CHICAGO (AP) — Gay rights advocates say an Illinois Supreme Court ruling is a step backward for same-sex couples and will also harm all unmarried domestic partners.

The court on Thursday rejected 5-2 a claim by a Chicago woman who split up with her partner after nearly 30 years of living together. The two women split in 2008, years before Illinois legalized same-sex marriage.

Eileen Brewer was seeking a share in Jane Blumenthal’s medical practice as restitution. Her attorneys asked the state high court to overturn its 1979 position barring such claims by unmarried partners.

Susan Sommer of Lambda Legal calls it “the height of injustice” to give legal protections only to those who were married when access to marriage was barred to same-sex couples.

Writing for the majority, Justice Lloyd Karmeier rejected the argument, saying the 1979 ruling “remains good law.”