Illinois gay marriage is closer than ever to happen for the thousands of individuals in the state, including myself and partner.
According to news sources, the marriage equality legislation was approved on Tuesday (Feb 5th 2013) by the Senate committee, which means that it not goes to a full Senate vote. The fun part about this vote, besides the excitement of it passing, is the fact that the vote is expected to happen on Valentine's Day. Who could have thought of a better day?
I must say that I greatly appreciate the bill's sponsor, Sen. Steans (D), who addressed the committee and spoke upon the bill's behalf "Civil unions have created a second class status".
It is my belief that civil unions are merely band-aids to temporarily appease individuals wanting equality in all forms. By no means am I discrediting these unions, or the relationships blessed by them, but they do not carry the weight and benefits of marriage. I am happy to say that since civil unions became accepted in Illinois (June 1, 2011), several of my friends and loved ones marched upon downtown and formalized their relationships. However, there is still work to be done.
To my readers who might have religious backgrounds that do not approve of this bill, the legislation was revised to clearly state that "houses of worship" will not be required to offer such marriage ceremonies. As a gay male who is waiting for the time to marry his life partner (aka the joy in my life), that's fine with me. I would never give my money, support, or enter a "house of worship" if it can not accept me. In fact, I've never wanted my marriage ceremony to take place in a church because religion was originally not a part of the bonding of two people. A historic fact, marriages were merely means of joining clans and families to increase access to resources land, and influence. It was not until thousands of years later that it became a "religious bond".
Going forward, we have a support from Sen. Steans, Senate President John Cullerton, President Barack Obama, and Gov. Pat Quinn has already vowed to sign the bill when it comes to his desk.
To my dear friends and loved ones, keep pushing! We have a little more work to do until we can rest and start registering at Tiffany, Macy's and others for bridal registry. Which by the way, will be one of the best ways for increasing the economy for our state.