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Illinois Lawmakers Introduce Gay Marriage Legislation

Illinois Lawmakers Introduce Gay Marriage Legislation


Illinois lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a bill to legalize marriage equality.

State Representatives Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and Deb Mell (D-Chicago), introduced the legislation.

Called “The Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Act”, the legislation seems to closely mirror that which was so successful in New York by making it expressly clear that, per existing law, religious freedom of speech will not be compromised.

From Rep. Cassidy’s press release:

“The time for full marriage equality in Illinois is right now,” Cassidy said.  ”Our relationships and our families are just as worthy of the same rights and protections that heterosexual couples receive. Yesterday, a federal appeals court ruled that it is not in the government’s interest to deny same-sex couples the right to marry. Today, we are taking the first step in asking the Illinois General Assembly to pass a bill that would provide equal protection for everyone.”

House Bill 5170 — the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act” — would provide same-sex couples and their children with the same marital legal protections, rights, responsibilities, and status as opposite-sex couples. Currently, same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington D.C.   The legislation filed on Wednesday would not impact religious institutions.

“The Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Act will give all of us in the LGBTQ community the rights we deserve,” Cassidy said.  ”The fight for full equality in our state will be a long and arduous one, but it is a fight that I am proud to be in and a fight that I am ready to wage. My partner and our family are no less important than any opposite-sex couple in America. We should be treated as such.”

Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), who was the lead sponsor of the state’s civil unions law and has before introduced marriage equality legislation, is quoted as saying  the bill “marks the next step in our journey toward full marriage equality in our state,” but he stressed, “It’s not going to happen quickly, it’s not going to happen without a lot of hard work.” He also highlighted that the bill is specifically designed to deal with the transition from civil unions to full marriage equality.

This move follows a number of recent successes in other states, including the Washington legislature this week approving a marriage equality bill.


Related Reading:

Illinois Rep. Wants ‘Common Sense’ Anti-Gay Discrimination

Illinois Civil Unions Hit By Tax Dispute

Catholic Charities Suing Illinois For Special Right to Turn Away Gay Couples Seeking to Adopt


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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to alex-s.

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9:47PM PST on Feb 14, 2012

I am happy that my home state (Washington), my current residence (New Jersey), and my home through college and eight years after (Illinois) have all been moving on this.

8:58AM PST on Feb 13, 2012


4:59PM PST on Feb 12, 2012

I'm waiting for the right to come back to the US and settle with my legal (same-sex) spouse of 8 years. Married in Canada, our vows are not recognized in my first country of citizenship--the US. So I cannot sponsor her for residency. This keeps me from moving back to help my elderly mom, or from taking a job back in the Midwest.

4:57PM PST on Feb 11, 2012

In order to be a homophobe it has to occupy a significant part of your brain, and this means that homophobes are thinking about men/women rubbing penises/vaginas together in a 24/7 gay porno. That’s an awful lot of gay thoughts for supposedly straight people who hate gays. I bet even gay people don’t think about gay stuff as much as homophobes do.

Homophobes (aka Anti-Gay Movement) are not protesting against bestiality, pedophilia (with/without a priest involved), rape, sexual exploitation, or any other form of non-consensual sexual act in which a victim is forced against their will to participate

The Homophobes are protesting a private sexual act being performed by two consenting adults.


Homosexuals = fighting for the right to control their own behavior.

Homophobes = fighting for the right to control other peoples behavior.

4:19PM PST on Feb 11, 2012

Yea!!!! We are gaining.

1:50PM PST on Feb 11, 2012

Great news. Now the rest of the US needs to follow!

1:40PM PST on Feb 11, 2012

Bravo! I may have to move back to Illinois at this rate.

12:37PM PST on Feb 11, 2012

Introduction is the most important first step---it will come---it's just a matter of time.

12:23PM PST on Feb 11, 2012

And another state steps into the 21st Century! Good for them!

11:45AM PST on Feb 11, 2012

Hope this passes! And I really hope Missouri is not far behind, my son should be allowed to marry the person he loves.

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