It’s Time for Marriage Equality in Illinois
Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013
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“Several of my colleagues have indicated that they would not be willing to cast a vote on this bill today … I apologize to the families who were hoping to wake up tomorrow as full and equal citizens of this state.” – Rep. Greg Harris, May 31, 2013
On May 31, 2013, the Illinois House of Representatives adjourned without taking a vote on the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. The lack of action by the House left thousands of Illinois couples and their families without the protections and security that only marriage brings. The House denied them the chance to be, as Harris put it, “full and equal citizens of this state.”
Some legislators told Harris they needed more time – and that they would be prepared to vote for SB10 in November. Well, November has arrived. And much has happened since then.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court found the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional. In his majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy said excluding gays and lesbians from marriage “humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples.”
In September, Steven Rynes lost his battle with cancer. Steven died before he could realize his dream of marrying his partner, Robb Smith. While legislators got more time, Steven Rynes did not.
This isn’t just about the legal protections marriage affords. It’s about dignity. It’s about equality before the law. It’s about fairness.
It is time for the Illinois House of Representatives to get on the right side of history and pass SB10. It’s time to stop excluding same-sex couples from marriage. Illinois families can’t wait.
Watch Illinois couples and Rep. Greg Harris speak out in our latest video…
For more information, visit IllinoisUnites.org.