Illinois marriage bill takes the lead

The Illinois Senate on February 14 approved a marriage equality bill by a 34 to 21 vote. Meanwhile, hopes that a marriage equality bill would be moved through the Hawaii legislature were dashed this month when the House Judiciary Committee refused to grant the measure a hearing.

The Illinois Senate vote moves that state into the best position at the moment for becoming the 10th state plus the District of Columbia to allow same-sex couples to marry the same as straight couples. State Rep. Greg Harris has told reporters he believes supporters are “within striking distance” in the House.

A similar bill in the Rhode Island legislature passed the House in January but is not expected to see action in the state senate until April.

The Illinois legislature approved civil unions for same-sex couples just two years ago. Following that move, the ACLU and Lambda Legal both filed lawsuits in the state’s courts, seeking to have the ban on marriage for same-sex couples declared unconstitutional.

The Democratic governors of both states have said they will sign marriage equality bills if they are passed.

One Response to Illinois marriage bill takes the lead

  1. Francois says:

    Essentially the Illinois legislature now votes to repeal it’s already unconstitutional gay jim crow law before such act of bigotry is struck down by the courts. What better proof do we need that the U.S. Supreme Court must strike down all these gay Jim Crow laws.

    Yesterday a legislature bans marriage equality, today they reconsider, and who knows what our rights will be in what state tomorrow. To paraphrase the late Justice Jackson, ‘The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw subjects liked this from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of tyrannous majorities and fickle legislatures and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. It is axiomatic fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote and they depend on the outcome of no elections.’

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