How can two state right next door to each other be so different?
After last weeks lame duck vote in which a marriage equality bill was successfully passed out of the Senate Executive Committee shortly before the session ran out of time, Illinois lawmakers will reintroduce two new bills today to make same-sex marriage legal in that state
Today, the legislative sponsors of the Illinois marriage equality bill plan to file Senate and House bills that would grant all Illinois couples the freedom to marry. On the first day of the new legislative session, sponsors Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Representative Greg Harris (D-Chicago) say they will work to pass the legislation, known as the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, shortly after members of the 98th General Assembly are sworn in.
Said Steans: “Last week, the Senate Executive Committee made history by approving same-sex marriage and gave our efforts incredible momentum. With the full support of Senate President John Cullerton, I am confident legislators will grant all Illinois couples the freedom to marry this year.”
Said Harris: “We are one step closer to equality in the Land of Lincoln. The bills we filed today will treat all couples equally under the law. We are going full steam ahead on this.”
Meanwhile next door in it’s bordering state of Indiana things couldn’t be more different as Indiana GOP state Rep. Eric Turner says he will introduce a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in that states new session but are timing it to see what impact might come from the upcoming rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court on the Proposition 8 and DOMA cases that will be reviewed in March.
The General Assembly already overwhelmingly approved the constitutional amendment once in 2011. It would have to sign off on it again, this year or in 2014, and then send the proposal to voters for final approval. “We do have some flexibility between this year and next. We recognize
that,” Turner said. “But frankly, some of us would like to put it behind us and let the public weigh in.” The Supreme Court’s decision to take up a pair of cases dealing with gay marriage and employee benefits for same-sex couples has led Republican leaders in both chambers to hold back on making any plans this year. Senate President Pro Tem David Long, a Fort Wayne Republican, said he is waiting for his staff to review any impact from the Supreme Court before deciding whether to move on the issue this year. “There’s no definitive decision on that as of yet,” he said Tuesday
So what is the difference between Indiana and Illinois?
Indiana is doing everything in its power to be the northern Alabama and about a few billion collective IQ points.