This week will be a critical time in our state for civil rights. To have our Governor, the Mayor (of Chicago), members of the Oak Park Village Council and the President of the United States support legislation for Gay and Lesbian citizens to marry is incredible. To have the majority of Illinoisans support this legislation is incredible.
Now we only need our legislators to follow through and pass it.
My husband was diagnosed with inoperable cancer on New Year's Eve 2009 and passed away on Sept. 30, 2010. Our son Daniel, at that time 10 years old, wanted for his Dads to get married. We realized that we would never be able to make it to get married in Illinois and, therefore, with the help of our straight ally neighbor Clif, made the trek to Iowa. Although this marriage did not give us any of the federal benefits, such as survivor's social security, it was still incredibly important to us. We never realized it until we went through it. Please watch our ceremony on YouTube. Search Jay and Wayne's Wedding Ceremony (http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cH5vMe0lphM).
It is time in Illinois for our legislators to allow marriage for gay and lesbian citizens. As Representative Greg Harris said, "It is not a question of how, but when." And when that day comes, Jay will be smiling down on us.
Wayne H. Franklin