Illinois, USA: House Gears Up for Marriage Equality Fight

Written by scott on March 3rd, 2013

IllinoisIn Illinois, things are heating up as a contentious and close House vote on the marriage equality bill approaches, Pantagraph reports:

Among those voicing support of the bill is Levi Sturgeon, 28, of Bloomington, who entered into a civil union with his long-time partner Carl Olson, 37. Sturgeon said both were ecstatic over the state’s legalization of civil unions, but called the arrangement “separate but equal.” He expects a contentious vote in Springfield, but hopes Democrats and Republicans can unite on the issue. In the Senate, Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, was the only Republican to vote “yes” on Senate Bill 10, the same-sex marriage law awaiting a vote on the House floor.

In related news, the Quad City Times endorsed the bill yesterday:

The party labels might be different in Illinois’ gay marriage debate, but the issue is exactly the same: A handful of lawmakers wants to use Illinois law to impose their faith choices on others. Those lawmakers are entitled — legally protected, actually — to believe whatever they like about gay people and their relationships. But using state law to forbid individuals’ life-long commitments solely on their sexual preference remains discrimination, pure and simple. Illinois law is clear: You can’t hire, fire, promote, include or exclude based on sexual preference. The question facing those reluctant Illinois lawmakers is not about their own personal beliefs on gay marriage. It is about their personal beliefs on discrimination. Which law-abiding groups do they purposely want to exclude under state law?

And again at Pantagraph, there’s a great Q&A about the marriage equality law, which goes into detail about how the new law would effect couples currently in civil unions:

Q: Would couples in civil unions be affected?

A: If they choose to be. Under the law, couples already in civil unions may receive a marriage license from their county clerk’s office. Otherwise, the civil union would remain in effect as before.

Hit the link above for more details.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Illinois.

 

1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Dennis R. Becker says:

    This is the first and second responces to my letter for suport of marriage vote. The second is worice then the first.

    Dear Dennis,

    Thank you for writing to me on this important issue. It’s one that I’ve given a great amount of consideration as I’m sure you have as well.

    I do side with the position that the state’s marriage law as written ought to remain intact.

    I agree with you that marriage strengthens relationships and fosters stability, but where we disagree is on the issue of families. History has proven that civilizations are strongest when children are brought up in a home with a mother and a father. Gay couples may desire to have children, but whether through adoption or surrogacy, the children would automatically be kept from this type of relationship. Situations like this do exist already, but to me, it’s not sound public policy to expand them into new arenas.

    Furthermore, the bill contains wording that would ostensibly protect religious freedom, but it does the opposite.

    I do read and consider the emails I receive, and I appreciate that you took the time to write even though we may continue to disagree on this particular issue.

    Sincerely,

    Tom Morrison
    State Representative – District 54

    If we’re truly going to have so-called “marriage equality” based on sexual orientation, then we need to eliminate marriage as an institution because we always will discriminate against someone. Take the “B” in LGBT, for example. If a bisexual man wants to marry the loves of his life and commit to the both of them, then we must allow him to marry both another man and another woman. Would you have a problem with that? Or, would you recommend that we discriminate against his sexual orientation and force him to choose only one of his loves?
    This isn’t just about those with same sex attraction, by the way. I’m also against allowing heterosexuals who want to have multiple partners enter into “marriage” relationships. Marriage restrictions are healthy for society and help to maintain order and stability (opposite sex, not closely related, not of minor age, not to multiple partners at once, etc.) No one is stopping your nephew from loving or being committed to anyone he wants, but it wouldn’t be defined as a marriage.
    Lastly, academic studies that are done honestly and comprehensively conclude that yes, most children have better life outcomes when they are raised by their biological mother and father. Are there exceptions? Of course there are! Are there single parents who do a great job at raising their children? Are there some same sex couples who raise kids who seem to turn out great? I’m sure there are.
    We know biologically that to produce children, an egg and sperm is required. We know that the biological parents almost always have the deepest emotional attachments to the children that they conceive (otherwise why would parents care which child they bring home from the hospital?). We know that emotionally and personality-wise, men and women have fundamental differences (“Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”). In their formative years, children pick up on those subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle differences between their moms and dads, and those differences help them to develop in a balanced way.
    Getting back to my earlier point about needing an egg and sperm for life, why would we encourage public policy that intentionally denies children a relationship with either their mother or their father? Same sex couples have to have someone outside the relationship donate either the egg or the sperm. Do we then just cut that donor out of the life of the child? Is that fair to the child? What happens if the same sex relationship wants to divorce? Who gets custody of the children? Other states and countries that are more “progressive” than the U.S. have already seen disastrous results from these sorts of policies.

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