Target: Illinois State Senate
Goal: Commend Illinois Senate for approving a bill to legalize gay marriage
Say thank you to the Illinois Senate for taking steps in the right direction. In a Valentine’s Day vote, the Senate voted 34-21-2 to approve a measure that would legalize same-sex nuptials.
Though the future of the bill is uncertain, the Senate’s vote can be seen as a sign of progress after failed efforts last month. The bill was sponsored by Chicago Democratic Senator Heather Steans, and Democrats accounted for all but one of the votes supporting the legalization of same-sex marriage. Three Democrats voted against, and two voted ‘present.’ Senator Jason Barickman was the lone Republican who voted in support of the measure and he has acknowledged that it may cause a backlash in his largely conservative district. He had no regrets, however, saying, ‘I feel like I did the right thing.’
The new measure would change state law regarding marriage from an act between a man and a woman to an act between two people, though in an effort to protect faith-based communities, it will not require ministers to perform the marriages nor demand the usage of church facilities against the wishes of religious groups.
The measure will pass to the Illinois House for vote on an unspecified date. While Democrats are the House majority, support for the bill is expected to be thinner, and whether the measure will gain Republican support is unclear. Catholics and other church groups, including some African-American Christian pastors, are expected to put up a fierce opposition.
Democratic Governor Pat Quinn has promised to sign the bill if it passes through the House, which would make Illinois the 10th state in the nation (plus the District of Columbia) to allow same-sex couples the right to wed.
Let’s show our support for this hard-fought victory for gay rights, and commend the efforts of the Illinois Senate to eliminate the second-class status of same-sex couples.
Dear Illinois State Senate,
I applaud you for approving the bill to legalize gay marriage. Though the battle is far from won, it is encouraging to see such progress. I hope that your efforts will be continued by the Illinois House. In this nation-wide push for gay rights, I am proud to see Illinois at the fore, and on the verge of becoming the 10th state to recognize the marriage of same-sex couples.
Thank you, Illinois Senate.
[Your Name Here]