- Posted February 15, 2013 by
Work In Progess
February 14, 2013
"The Democratic-led Senate delivered a Valentine’s Day victory to gay and lesbian couples today, passing legislation for the first time that would allow same-sex marriage in Illinois.
The gay marriage measure now goes to the House, where the fight is expected to be tougher. Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign the bill if it reaches his desk.
The 34-21-2 Senate vote represents a turnaround of sorts after advocates unsuccessfully sought to push a gay marriage bill through last month’s lame-duck legislative session. Supporters vowed to try again quickly with a new General Assembly that featured even more Democratic seats in both chambers.
The legislation must still muster a majority in the 118-member House.
Under the measure, marriage officially would be changed in state law from an act between a man and a woman to two people. The legislation explicitly says nothing in the proposed law would force a religious denomination or minster to “solemnize any marriage.” People in civil unions would be able to convert them to gay marriages within a year of a same-sex marriage law going on the books in Illinois.
The law will not require ministers to perform a marriage of gay couples. Nor will church officials have to require facilities of churches, such as parish or fellowship halls, to be used by gay couples against the wishes of a religious group, Steans said."
Oh but wait, even with those unnecessary and redundant additional protections included in the legislation to further "protect" religious freedoms from the big, bad "gay marriage", conservative legislators in the Chicago State Senate still had to voice their overt paranoia:
Democratic Sen. William Haine of Alton, a former state's attorney from Madison County, joined in the criticism of the legislation, calling it a "profound change."
"We are doing it on the basis of emotion and the needs of citizens who actively vote," said Haine. He complained the bill falls short of protecting churches from being forced to engage in what they view as "sacrilegious."
Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, said the changes represent a "danger" because it will "abrogate the mission of the church." He contended church officials who fear what will happen because of the law will pull back their outreach efforts.
Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, predicted the legislation would have far-reaching impact throughout Illinois, saying even school curriculum will be changed to recognize gay marriage.
"People have the right to live as they choose," McCarter said. "They don't have the right to redefine marriage for all of us...we are jeopardizing freedom, not expanding it."
McCarter took issue with choosing Valentine's Day to pass the bill in the Senate, saying the vote was "scheduled on the holiday to celebrate love to disguise what is truly a devaluing of traditional marriage."
Same old, same old from the broken record conservatives.
This paranoid notion, that anything which goes against a religious belief is inherently trying to destroy that belief, needs to stop now - it serves only to perpetuate the negative stereotypes, false perceptions and discriminatory actions taken against the gay community.
"If the House gets the measure to Quinn, and he follows through on his pledge to sign it, Illinois would join: Iowa, Washington, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maryland in allowing gay marriage.
State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), who is the lead House sponsor of the gay-marriage push, predicted the measure would pass the House but would not commit to a timetable on when he would seek a vote.
He said a vote in his legislative chamber would be determined by Democratic leadership in the House because it "sets the schedules", but believes it will be within the next two weeks."
Congratulations Illinois, one step closer!
Fingers crossed for the upcoming House vote!