January 6, 2013

Marriage Equality On The Horizon In Illinois

Map of the state of Illinois by jiveinthe415.com

GOP state party chair is lobbying lawmakers to pass same-sex marriage legislation because it’s “an issue of equality” and the Republican party is “the party of Lincoln”

“Marriage” eyes are smiling, and all eyes are on the state of Illinois. Will they be the 10th state to extend marriage equality to all of their residents? Or is there a different state that’s going to endorse same-sex marriage? Will Rhode Island be next? Or will we have to wait until the Supreme Court reaffirms that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, to celebrate that another state allows LGBT couples to marry.

Illinois currently allows LGBT couples
to join together in a civil union. I think civil unions are like that old saying - always a bridesmaid and never a bride. The state might give you a piece of paper that says you are joined in a civil union with your partner, but anything short of marriage is discrimination.

State lawmakers might have good intentions when they introduce a civil unions bill, and it might be more palatable to some of their constituents, but they reduce our relationships to second class status, and that’s completely unacceptable.

Illinois State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) was determined to try to pass a marriage bill in the State Senate during their lame duck session. She was successful getting the marriage equality bill passed in committee, but the measure was never brought to a vote before the full Senate, due to a few Senators being absent on the last day of the legislative session.

Democrats have a super majority in the new Senate that convenes on January 9th, 2013, and that improves the chances that the bill will pass.

President Obama has expressed his support for the bill, Governor Pat Quinn has pledged to sign the legislation, and the conservative chairman of the state Republican party endorses marriage equality.  Chairman Pat Brady has been lobbying GOP state lawmakers to support same-sex marriage.  The Associated Press reports:

The chairman of the Illinois Republican Party says support for gay marriage is "the most conservative position" because it keeps government out of personal lives.
Brady says he's had mixed reactions to his lobbying but believes there are enough Senate votes to OK the legislation.
He says gay marriage is "an issue of equality and we're the party of Lincoln."
The national "party of Lincoln" should endorse and embrace equality for a host of reasons, but unfortunately the Illinois state GOP chairman is a lone voice in a political party that is hostile to equal rights. Regardless, I applaud him for doing the right thing.

I do think that Illinois will be the 10th state to extend marriage equality to every resident of that great state, and Rhode Island won’t be far behind. BRAVO!




straight talk in a queer world.      jiveinthe415.com              
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