The Illinois House of Representatives narrowly passed a marriage equality bill 61-54 today, basically ensuring that the Land of Lincoln will become the 15th state in the United States to allow same-sex couples to marry legally. The measure, SB 10, had previously passed the State Senate overwhelmingly 34-21 and heads back there today for concurrence with some amendments and then on to Governor Pat Quinn's enthusiastic signature.
The Chicago Tribune reports:
The bill got 61 votes, one more than the bare minimum needed to send the measure back to the Senate for final approval that’s expected later today. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has said he would sign the bill into law should it reach his desk.The bill received three yes votes from Republicans and 11 no votes from Democrats. Just last week Greg Harris was picketed by marriage equality supporters for his delay in calling the bill to a vote. However, I'm sure all will be forgiven now that another blue state has entered the ranks of marriage equality.
The House vote followed more than two-and-a-half hours of debate in which supporters said it’s time for Illinois to make marriage equal for all and opponents raised concerns about protecting the institution of marriage and the religious beliefs of those who say marriage should be between a man and woman.Sponsoring Rep. Greg Harris told colleagues that a series of “proud moments and difficult decisions that have brought honor upon the people and the state of Illinois, and we find ourselves at another one of those moments today.”The openly gay Democratic lawmaker from Chicago said the state’s civil union law has saddled Illinois with “inequality, unfair burden and harms added layer by layer to people simply because they live in the state of Illinois.”“To treat all our citizens equally in the eyes of the law, we must change this,” Harris said.
The real question in my mind is what will be the first red state to have marriage equality?