User Login    
 + Register
PDQ Cleaning
News : Illinois Set To Be 15th State To Allow Gay Marriage
Posted by Randy on 2013/11/6 4:49:05 (478 reads) News by the same author

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- With Illinois set to become the 15th state nationwide to legalize same-sex marriage, Chicago couple Theresa Volpe and Mercedes Santos finally began planning the wedding they'd started thinking about more than two decades ago.

Click to see original Image in a new window

After months of arduous lobbying in President Barack Obama's home state, Illinois lawmakers passed a measure Tuesday that would legalize same-sex marriage. Under the legislation, which Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has vowed to sign, couples could start tying the knot in June.

Fourteen other states and Washington, D.C., allow same-sex marriage.

The road to the Illinois vote was long and included a stalled attempt earlier this year, frustrating activists in a state where Democrats lead the House, Senate and governor's office. Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris, who is the main sponsor, decided not to bring the bill for a vote in May, saying he didn't have the support.

Then the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to strike down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which Harris said resonated with lawmakers. Backers also launched a furious campaign, hiring a union lobbyist, the former head of the Illinois Republican Party and field organizers statewide.

"To treat all our citizens equally in the eyes of the law we must change this," Harris said on the floor. "Families have been kept apart."

Debate lasted more than two hours, and the final roll call was met with cheers. Supporters' speeches echoed themes of equality and civil rights, with mentions of Obama and Martin Luther King Jr.

The measure had backing from both of Illinois' U.S. senators and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. It also got a last-minute boost from longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan, who serves as chair of the state's Democratic Party. The Chicago Democrat said he used the "art of persuasion" to bring on more than five votes in the last week.

Opponents, including some of the most powerful religious leaders in Illinois, have said marriage should remain between a man and a woman. A group of Chicago-area pastors vowed to line up primary challengers against some lawmakers who voted yes.

The bill first cleared the Senate on Valentine's Day. Backers expressed confidence that the bill would be approved by the House in mid-March. But it took the supporters months to secure votes.

Although Illinois once appeared poised to become the first Midwestern state to approve gay marriage in the Legislature, Minnesota did it sooner and started holding its first same-sex weddings over the summer. Iowa allows gay marriages too, because of a court ruling, not a legislative vote.

For months, the leaders of several black mega-churches lobbied the districts of black House members with an aggressive robocall campaign against gay marriage, placing the Democratic members of the caucus in an uncomfortable spotlight. Many remained undecided until the vote neared.

But for couples such as Volpe and Santos, Tuesday marked the start of a new chapter.

The couple had a civil union ceremony in 2011, when Illinois approved them. But now they hope their wedding will include their new baby.

"Some people didn't even know what that meant. Some of them didn't come because they didn't know - what does that mean?" Volpe said. "When you say `We're going to have a wedding,' for sure people will come now."

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2015/5/27 16:10:00 - AAA Blue Jays Open Season With Burleigh Grimes Doubleheader
2015/5/27 16:04:44 - NCMC Dean Retires After 27 Years
2015/5/27 15:57:40 - Newtown-Harris Announces Teacher Resignation And Hire
2015/5/27 15:53:30 - Chillicothe Man Injured After Car Strikes Deer
2015/5/27 15:50:42 - Bluegrass Festival Coming To Chillicothe In June
2015/5/27 15:37:24 - Truck/SUV Collision Injures 19-Year Old
2015/5/27 15:32:55 - ATV Accident Sends Marceline Man To Hospital
2015/5/27 15:28:16 - Wednesday Morning Accident Kills Novinger Man
2015/5/27 5:37:33 - Public Input Sought For Poosey Conservation Area Plan
2015/5/27 4:28:16 - Remains of Man Missing More Than 20 Years Found In Submerged Car
2015/5/27 4:12:43 - Missouri Man Dies After Being Bitten In Both Legs By Snake
2015/5/26 5:42:17 - Two Injured In ATV Accident
2015/5/26 4:21:12 - Inmate Sentenced To Life In Prison May Be Free Man This Summer
2015/5/26 4:07:52 - Police: 3 Children Hurt When Water Spout Uproots Bounce House
2015/5/25 5:57:00 - 10 Historical Facts About Memorial Day
2015/5/25 5:46:10 - Forgotten For Decades, Fallen NY Soldier Is Finally Honored
2015/5/22 17:55:36 - Woman Found Pushing Dead 3-Year-Old Son in Swing
2015/5/21 14:21:21 - NCMC Foundation Presents "Salute Awards"
2015/5/21 11:35:05 - Marshall Man, Accused Of Shooting At Police, Captured In Alabama
2015/5/21 11:25:26 - Police Surround Home Of Suspected Murderer In Sedalia
2015/5/21 10:20:00 - Daily Room Rate At Sunnyview Increases By Eight Dollars
2015/5/21 10:20:00 - Milling Work Scheduled To Begin Next Week In Trenton
2015/5/21 10:10:04 - Kansas Truck Driver Injured In U.S. 36 Accident
2015/5/21 10:07:54 - Putnam County Teens Injured In Late Night Accident
2015/5/21 10:00:00 - AP : Suddenlink Sold To European Company
2015/5/21 10:00:00 - Local Bank Purchases Tax Credits, In Hopes Of Improving Trenton's Downtown
2015/5/21 9:47:51 - Efforts Underway To Repair Lawn Damage At Grundy County Courthouse
2015/5/20 10:55:08 - Area Organizations Plan To Distribute Money-Saving Light Bulbs
2015/5/20 10:47:05 - Gallatin Library Receives $5,628 Grant
2015/5/20 10:00:00 - Area Rivals Tie For 3rd At Class 1 Boys Golf Tournament



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM