One Equal World

Illinois to Be the 15th State to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Posted on: November 19, 2013

Illinois will become the 15th state to allow same-sex marriage on November 20th, when Governor Pat Quinn signs the bill into law.  The Illinois House of Representatives finally passed the marriage equality bill, the most critical step necessary before the governor can sign it into law.  Gov. Pat Quinn said he plans to sign the bill which would take effect on June 1st.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, same sex marriage support

Gov. Pat Quinn will sign the same-sex marriage bill into law on Nov. 20th, 2013.
Image: Rick Aiello / Flickr CC

This was certainly not an easy win.  People on both sides of the issue were lobbying hard.  Those opposing the bill said that signing it could go so far as to unravel the foundation of society.  Love won out, thankfully.  Yet, it reminds us that the battle is not over.  Right given can easily be rights taken away.  (Think the growth of surveillance of ordinary citizens without consent.  Privacy used to be a basic right.  Not so much anymore.)

It is important to see how much hard work went into this win.  In Illinois, the Human Rights Campaign helped make over 34,000 calls and wrote 80,000 emails to legislators.  They worked extra-hard to put together a coalition to let everyone know that fair treatment is a human right.  It should not just be a hope.

According to sponsoring Rep. Greg Harris, “At the end of the day, what this bill is about is love, it’s about family, it’s about commitment.”  He held an American flag in his arms as he made his statements.  Harris said the flag was a gift from a soldier in Afghanistan in support.

“At the end of the day, this bill is about the vision that the founders of our country had and wrote into our Constitution, where they said America is a journey. … And we’ll continue to walk down that road to make America a better place, to make ourselves a ‘more perfect union,’ to ensure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” Harris continued.

Even the president commented that, “Michelle and I are overjoyed for all the committed couples in Illinois whose love will now be as legal as ours — and for their friends and family who have long wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and equally under the law.”

Next up – Hawaii?  Just three days after Illinois, the Hawaii House passed SB1 with a vote of 30-19 in favor.  The Senate will likely pick up the issue again soon.

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