It may not be MARRIAGE, but it's def a major step in the right direction!
Starting next year, Illinois will allow civil unions between same-sex couples based on House legislation passed today.
The vote in favor of legalizing same-sex civil unions spurred debate on legalizing gay marriage in the state, but unfortunately supporters haven't been able to jump that hurdle quite yet.
Here's what Rep. Greg Harris had to say about the new legislation by the House:
“We have a chance today to make Illinois a more fair state, a more just state, and a state which treats all of its citizens equally under the law. We have a chance here, as leaders have had in previous generations, to correct injustice and to move us down the path toward liberty."
Here's what Rick Garcia, political director of gay rights organization Equality Illinois, had to say about the bill's passage:
“I think it was telling that as the bill was being discussed the governor came out onto the floor and got a standing ovation. We’ve taken a huge step toward fairness. We are thrilled.”
Here's what Bob Gilligan, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois, had to say about the bill's passage:
"Marriage has religious connotations that we are not addressing, we are talking about equality under the law of Illinois…This permits certainty for those that are in committed relationships."
Boo to that, Bob! Obviously we're happy with the bill's passage, but now let's take that next step and legalize gay marriage in Illinois!