Illinois gay marriage law causes celebration & condemnation
Illinois is about to become the 15th state to legalize gay marriage.
The state Senate and House passed a bill that had met roadblocks before.
But on Tuesday, it received just enough support from the House to send it to the Senate, which had already passed similar legislation in February.
Governor Quinn had said that he would sign it into law.
Once he does, county clerks could begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on June 1.
News of the bills passing led to celebrations in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined the crowd at the bar Sidetrack, where he said, “This is a time when our laws are in line with our values.”
“The community has been fighting very hard to get that passed. It’s good for Chicago. It’s good for Illinois,” said supporter Will Harrison.
“It’s really just a matter of being loved and being respected and that feeling that you’re a second citizen because you happen to be madly in love with the same person for 15 years,” said supporter Edward Gisiger.
There are critics of this bill who say it’s legally unnecessary since Illinois does recognize civil unions.
“We have far more important reasons to protect traditional marriage in Illinois, than the issue of you’re inconvenienced to go to Minneapolis so you can have a marriage license so you can apply for social security” said Paul Caprio, Director of Family PAC.
The Catholic Conference of Illinois is condemning this movement.
It said it is “deeply disappointed that members of the General Assembly chose to redefine what is outside of its authority.. We remain concerned about the very real threats to religious liberty that are at stake with the passage of this bill.”