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Marriage equality bill moves on

March 1, 2013

The Illinois Senate passed a same-sex marriage bill on Valentine’s Day and will advance to the House for a vote sometime next week. If the bill is signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn, Illinois will become the 11th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

According to the Huffington Post, the bill was approved this week by a 6-5 vote in a House committee. Members of the committee voted along party lines, Democrats in favor and Republicans against.

Here is an excerpt from Senate Bill 10 which was passed two weeks ago: “Its underlying purpose, which is to provide same-sex and different-sex couples and their children equal access to the status, benefits, protections, rights and responsibilities of civil marriage.”

The bill will provide full, equal benefits to different-sex and same-sex couples who are married. The bill also includes specific definitions. According to the bill, parties to a marriage are included in any definition such as “spouse, family, immediate family, dependent, next of kin, wife, husband, bride, groom, and not limited to, wedlock.”

“Advocates said the proposal would allow ministers to refuse to perform same-sex marriages if it’s against their beliefs,” wrote Ray Long and Rafael Guerrero of the Chicago Tribune. “But opponents have questioned if the protections are strong enough.”

The ten page bill protects multiple legal avenues of marriage by same-sex couples, adoption of children by same-sex couples and also protects the rights of religious institutions.

The Illinois Republican party chair Pat Brady also backs the bill, but as a private citizen. According to Johanna Dasteel, of LifeSiteNews.com, Brady’s resignation came from Illinois and National Republicans after his comments on Jan. 15. As a private citizen, Brady made phone calls to Illinois Senators when the bill was moving through the Senate.

Brady, according to the Huffington Post, has postponed a fundraiser with the national Republican Chairman Reince Priebus. Reports of a Central Committee meeting will take place to discuss whether to keep or oust Brady as Illinois Republican chair.

The Illinois Senate has 40 Democrats and 19 Republicans. The bill passed 34 to 21 with four senators not voting. Passage of the same-sex marriage bill is expected to be tight in the House with 71 Democrats and 47 Republicans.

Joe Florio
Photo Editor

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