Editorial Urges Ladies and Gentlemen of Illinois House to Step Up Regarding Gay Marriage Bill
Values that underlie marriage include providing reward for committed relationships, promoting stability within families, and protecting children’s interests. According to a Chicago Tribune editorial dated February 18, 2013, and titled “A Spouse is a Spouse,” allowing same-sex couples to be lawfully married would only serve to affirm these values, not devalue them.
In a major step toward marriage equality in the state of Illinois, the Illinois General Assembly two years ago voted to legally recognize committed partnerships regardless of the sexual orientation of the persons within the partnerships. In December, 2010, on the strength of that vote, Illinois legally recognized same-sex civil unions, becoming just the sixth state to do so.
The editorial recapped the Senate vote that sent the same-sex marriage bill on to the House—34 to 21 in favor—and urged the House to finish the job. If the House votes in favor of the same-sex marriage bill, and Governor Pat Quinn signs the bill into law as promised, same-sex marriage would establish marriage equality in Illinois. Illinois would be the tenth state to legalize same-sex marriage.
If the measure is passed by the House and signed by the governor, state laws would equally apply to marriages between “two persons,” not just between “a man and a woman.”
At the same time the editorial states that government validation of same-sex marriage is not and should not be a religious blessing. That is why Senator Heather Steans from Chicago amended the same-sex marriage bill to make certain churches that refused to conduct same-sex marriages in their buildings would not be penalized.
Chicago family law firm Nottage and Ward partner Jeffrey Knipmeyer is dedicated to helping members of the gay community handle complex family law matters in Illinois. At our firm you can obtain the legal advice you need no matter what your living arrangement. If you have questions pertaining to matters of family law, call (312) 332-2915. We are experienced professionals who have answers to your questions.
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