Illinois Becomes Fifteenth State To Approve Marriage Equality

It was a long and bumpy ride, but the quest for marriage equality in Illinois has finally succeeded. The state House of Representatives voted 61-54 in favor of a marriage measure on Tuesday, clearing the final hurdle for the bill. Gov. Pat Quinn has already said he will sign the bill, which will make Illinois the fifteenth state to approve marriage equality. The state will begin to issue marriage licenses on June 1, 2014.

“To treat all our citizens equally in the eyes of the law we must change this,” Rep. Greg Harris, the sponsor of the bill, said on the floor. “Families have been kept apart.”

There was plenty of drama in the months leading up to the vote. The state Senate passed the bill last February. The House considered the measure last May, but after an agonizing period of prevarication couldn’t muster the votes for passage. Meantime, the state Republican party was roiled by internal division, as the state party chair Pat Brady was ultimately pushed from his job because of his support for marriage equality. (Brady was subsequently hired to lobby for the bill, so he wins last-laugh rights.)

The bill now goes back to the Senate to be reconciled with the measure that it passed 9 months ago. Illinois is another in an unending string of losses for religious conservatives trying to stem the tide of marriage equality. “A ‘no’ vote today does not mean you’re a bigot. It doesn’t mean you’re homophobic,” said Rep. Tom Morrison, who voted against the measure. History may think differently.

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  • Taliaferro

    A no vote does indeed mean you are a bigot, a homophobe, and also means you may claim to be Christian but do not follow the teachings of Christ. I suggest everyone read Zealot to learn how Paul corrupted and perverted the message of Jesus and left us with more than two thousand years of religious intolerance and bigotry. Kudos to Illinois for its courage and congratulations to all my LBGT brothers and sisters in that state who now can marry the ones they love.

  • yaoming

    Welcome to the club.

    Best wishes from Seattle.

  • Icebloo

    It is wonderful news but why the hell are they now making us wait until JUNE 1st 2014 ??!! Does it REALLY take EIGHT MONTHS to design a new marriage application form ? I can make them one in less than half an hour. It really annoys me they are still making us wait as long as possible !

  • Aric

    @Icebloo: Good GOD does it really take that long? Whelp, here’s to a few extra months of wedding planning.

  • Cam

    Congrats to all the couples in Il. :)

  • Charlie in Charge

    Well done Illinois, you are in good company.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Taliaferro: As an ordained Christian minister (Ret.), I agree completely with you! There is going to be a lot of blowback from the Marriage Equality supporters when we reach 39+ States that have SSMarriage as their right. I just hope the RRR-AcT (Radical Religious Reich – American christian Taliban) are ready for what they’ve earned! God help them! We DO remember!

  • Cyn

    A No vote means you have decided to go against the people and suck the Koch Brothers’ Collective dicks.

  • Geoff B

    So freaking over the moon right now. Was getting ready for work when my partner came home from work scraming that the bill passed, barged in on me in the bathroom while I was shaving and gave me a ring that he was saving for this occasion. Woke up a second class citizen this morning and by the time I went into work I had a small shaving nick on my chin, an engagement ring and a fiancee. Still just walking on air.

  • JDJase

    @Icebloo: Because for the law to take effect immediately it would have needed 70 votes during the veto session(not possible). For the bill to only need 60 votes the earliest it could go into effect is June.

    So no, it’s not “jeeez these people are idiots I can do their job better than them!!”

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  • Scribe38

    @Geoff B: soooo happy for you really :)

  • loua61

    @Geoff B: How great for you and your future husband. Nothing else could be better. Congrats dude.

  • GayTampaCowboy

    There’s little doubt that the “domino effect” started by the SCOTUS ruling is gaining momentum. More and more state legislatures and judicial branches see the inevitability of marriage equality. That, combined with the potential impact on their state’s economy if they are perceived as being bigoted and homophobic are helping accelerate the process.

    Hopefully Florida will fall in line sooner than later and that we won’t have to wait till Charlie Crist is re-elected Govenor! :)

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