Friday, February 15, 2013

Illinois State Senate Passes Marriage Bill 34-21

As expected, the State Senate of Illinois passed a bill to enact marriage equality in the state, by a vote of 34-21.

The Chicago Tribune reported on the debate:
During a nearly two-hour, emotional debate, sponsoring Sen. Heather Steans urged colleagues to join her in a vote for the "history books" that would remove gay and lesbian couples from "second-class status."
Same-sex partners want to marry for the same reasons as heterosexual couples, including for love, commitment and "shared responsibility with that one, unique, irreplaceable person," said Steans, D-Chicago.
Under the measure, marriage would be changed in state law from an act between a man and a woman to one between two people. Civil unions could be converted to marriages within a year of a same-sex marriage law going onto the books. The legislation would not require ministers to perform a marriage of gay couples, and church officials would not be forced to allow church facilities to be used by gay couples, Steans said.
Even so, Sen. Kyle McCarter and several other Republican colleagues feared the legislation would have far-reaching impact, predicting even the school curriculum in Illinois will be changed to recognize gay marriage.
"People have the right to live as they choose," said McCarter, of Lebanon in southern Illinois. "They don't have the right to redefine marriage for all of us. ... We are jeopardizing freedom, not expanding it."
Really? By allowing more people to do something which only some people are allowed to do, opponents are trying to argue that freedom is being reduced. WTF? Happily, fewer and fewer people are willing to consider such ridiculous arguments and rejecting them for the sophistry that they are.

That being said, it's not clear if SB0010 will pass the State House, despite the fact that Democrats enjoy a supermajority in the body as well as enthusiastic support from the (very unpopular) Governor Pat Quinn.

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