Local state reps back gay marriage bill in House

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By Ashley Lisenby

Digital Editor

By a single-vote margin, the Illinois House Tuesday backed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Act. Three of those votes came from Oak Park-area state reps: LaShawn Ford, Camille Lilly and Chris Welch. All three are African-American and faced considerable opposition on gay marriage from conservative black religious leaders on the South Side.

The gay marriage bill is now on its way back to the Senate for final approval after it received a majority vote in the House.

The bill passed by 61 votes after a two-and-a-half hour debate. Pending Senate approval and the guaranteed signature of Gov. Pat Quinn, Illinois would be the nation's 15th state to legalize same-sex marriages.

The House majority vote in favor of the gay marriage bill comes on the heels of the marriage equality rally and march that occurred in Springfield in late October where dozens of representatives across the state and Gov. Pat Quinn stood in support of legalizing same-sex unions.

Contact:
Email: ashley@oakpark.com Twitter: @aadlisenby

Reader Comments

29 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

peters  

Posted: November 27th, 2013 1:54 AM

Thanks be to Dr KOBOKO, I want to share my testimony to the world, i dont want to be selfish. Am a gay, from chicago am 22 years old i got married at the age of 24. After one year of my marriage my partner behavior became so strange, he packed out of the house to another man. i try my possible best to make sure that my man get back to me but all to no avail, i cry seeking for help, i discussed it with my best friend Allix and he promise to help me. he told me of a man called DR KOBOKO YYA, he t

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: November 7th, 2013 2:55 PM

Bill Dwyer, it was a fair an open question. If a married gay man at work is invited to an office party along with his wife, does he say to his employer, let me check with my wife, partner, spouse, Paul, or significant other. If the man was straight, he would said I will check with my wife, not partner. I can understand your response of saying butt out, because you are not able to answer the question.

Neighbor from Oak park  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 9:46 PM

adjusted as children raised by straight parents, but then there's research that shows the opposite... My personal experience in knowing kids with gay parents who were my kids' friends was that the former was true. And what's the difference between hetero marriage and polygamy? Not much from what I could see from "Big Love. " Not sure I understand your question about the difference between gays and polygamists. There are other social problems of more concern than this, like climate change

Neighbor from Oak Park  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 9:37 PM

@Uncommon-I acknowledge that other variations of marriage can occur, but I'm not too worried about it. Imagine the $ and legal complication if a spouse wants a divorce from a polygamous marriage. Polygamy seems weird, but the only real objection I have in terms of hurting anyone would be that if there are children in a polygamous family, it would be very confusing to have so many parents and potential step parents. Some research has concluded that children raised by gay parents are as well

resident  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 9:31 PM

I used to think that we should tolerate individual differences, like people being gay. Then Matt Shepard was murdered and I realized that tolerance was not enough. We must all stand with each other and actively support every person's humanity. This is a step forward not just for the LTGB community but for all of us.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 8:10 PM

@ Q fm Oak park: "When two men marry, does one of the men get the title of wife or are both referred to as partner." Answer: When two people of any sex and any sexual orientation get married, or even just live together, they get to call each other whatever they want , as they're consenting adults and it's no one else's business. My late wife kept her own last name. I was fine with that. Some people have a problem with that. The response in both situations remains the same- butt out.

A question from Oak Park  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 7:24 PM

This is a question that someone should be able to answer. When two men marry, does one of the men get the title of wife or are both referred to as partner.

@Dreamer  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 4:24 PM

The majority of IL voters support same-sex marriage in polling by over 20 points. Do you really want to waste more state money on a referendum when lawmakers could just do their job and the will of the people?

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 3:59 PM

Neighbor, if a guy wants three wives and the ability to have each one his legal "wife" and all the financial benefits associated, why would that be prevented? Why is two so special? How are gays different from polygamist? As long as it is legal age adults, given the logic of granting legal status to gay marriage, how can anyone deny the same to polygamist? It is a slippery slope and you now also have to acknowledge all the other variations of marriage that can occur.

Neighbor from Oak Park  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 3:34 PM

That being said, it should make make it more complicated and difficult for polygamists to form legal marriages and would probably discourage them some... This thought for those of you who fear impending Sodom and Gomorah. Did I spell that right?

Neighbor from Oak Park  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 3:18 PM

Legal marriage is a financial contract. It's a commitment that should force spouses to not make lightly. It affords financial protection as well as liability. This is the bottom line, like it or not- not whether or not all members of society or a religion feel comfortable with it. All of us have a right and responsibility to a legal marriage if able and willing to make that commitment.

Dreamer from Oak Park  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 12:34 PM

Saying our state reps helped pass this bill just highlights the problems with the election process in this state.The way these districts are drawn,in no way "represents" voters.It's a case of the representatives picking their voters,rather than the other way around.No accountability,because they are guaranteed reelection.90% of these races will be uncontested in the general election.This is not representative democracy.Were they afraid to let the citizen's vote through referendum on this law?

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 10:59 AM

rj, I sympathize with the LBGT community in regards to contractual rights of their relationships. However, I do believe we create a slippery slope in redefining marriage. Either we get gov't out of it completely as Pete says below or we have to recognize all the other non-traditional forms such as polygamy to be logically consistent with allowing LBGT marriages. If two guys can get married, why not 3 chicks and 1 guy or 1 gal and five guys? Consenting adults are consenting adults.

Patricia O'Shea from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 10:28 AM

Thumbs up Illinois!

rj  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 10:14 AM

Uncommon Sense you're right. Everything is always on the table when it comes to the leftists' never ending lust for votes - their only reason to pass any law despite it's possible negative results down the road.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 9:45 AM

I have conflicting feelings about this. On one hand, I don't really care what people do in the bedroom and how they want to structure their family. If two men or two women want to be married and have the same legal rights, then I really don't have an issue. However, I can see the other side where it goes against the societal norms of marriage tradition. This is also a slipperly slope and I suspect polygamy will also be legalized along with some other non-traditional forms of marriage.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 8:17 AM

Wow, Pete Flanagan. People being forced to "register their genitals" with the state? Hmmmm. You take it easy now, OK?

Ray Johnson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 5:56 AM

Thank you to our State Reps. and State Senator Don Harmon, and to all volunteers and allies -- whether you gave 5 minutes, $5.00, or worked on this for years, Thank you! This is a great day for Illinois families.

Reality Check  

Posted: November 5th, 2013 10:24 PM

If your str8 marriage is adversely effected by gays getting married, you're doing it wrong. Grow up and take responsibility for your own crap.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 5th, 2013 9:02 PM

To husband and wife - I don't see how traditional marriage changes in any way with this legislation. You lost nothing, so what is your beef. Our friends, family and loved ones have gained a platform of religious commitment with their partners. The ability to love someone is a beautiful thing.

Oak Parker from Oak Park  

Posted: November 5th, 2013 9:00 PM

Thanks to LaShawn Ford and the other two reps. I contacted them on this bill and I'm happy they helped pass it. They are on the right side of history! And they know that the majority of people in Oak Park are in favor of equality in every way!

Galewood Gal from Chicago  

Posted: November 5th, 2013 8:19 PM

It is not a matter of religion, it's a matter of love and equality. I'm sure people like husband and wife truly believe this is horrible but since the divorce rate is more than 50%, I don't believe the legacy of marriage has not been "damaged". Peace, love and happiness for all.

Pete Flanagan  

Posted: November 5th, 2013 8:19 PM

This is another step backwards for personal freedom. What the General Assembly should have done today is to vote to abolish marriage as a legal contract between str8, gay, or whatever. Honestly...why should citizens be forced to register their genitals with the state then acquire a license to have sex? The state has no business acting as a sanctioning body for personal relationships. As a secular contrivance, marriage needs to go away altogether.

DEEZ from Oak Park  

Posted: November 5th, 2013 7:19 PM

@husband & wife: Get over it.

husband & wife from Oak Park  

Posted: November 5th, 2013 7:14 PM

Another sad day for the traditional family unit between a man and woman.

Janice Patterson from Oak park  

Posted: November 5th, 2013 6:40 PM

Thank you for being brave and understanding that discrimination is never okay.

JH from Oak Park  

Posted: November 5th, 2013 6:38 PM

Congratulations to the Representatives who stood up to the pressure and held their ground. Congratulations to those who will enjoy this long awaited measure of equality.

Time to celebrate!  

Posted: November 5th, 2013 6:37 PM

So proud of my representatives today for being on the right side of history. Thank you for your votes!

Gail Moran from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 5th, 2013 6:15 PM

Thanks to our committed Representatives. ( We needed 60 and got 61.)

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