Illinois Senate Passes Marriage Equality Bill; Now Advances To The House
A little news to sweeten your Valentine’s Day as we claim another victory for equality. The SB 10 (Marriage Equality Bill) was passed today in a vote of 34-21. Now the measure will be moving onto the House sometime later this month and is expected to have a floor vote. Here’s more:
The bill was approved by a vote of 34 to 21 Thursday afternoon following a vigorous debate between lawmakers who both supported and opposed the measure. Two lawmakers voted present. Only one Republican — state Sen. Jason Barickman, a Champaign Republican, joined a supermajority of Democrats in voting yes.
State Sen. Heather Steans, a Chicago Democrat and the bill’s sponsor, called it “a vote for the history books,” according to the Associated Press.
Marriage equality proponents were cautiously confident in their odds heading in to the Thursday vote.
“I’ve been told it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when it’s going to be done,”veteran marriage equality advocate Rick Garcia, senior policy advisor at The Civil Rights Agenda, told HuffPost last week. “Throughout the political spectrum, people [in Springfield] know marriage equality is going to happen.”
Of course some of the opponents of the bill used the same rhetoric as we’ve all seen before. State Senator McCarter (R) implied his line of questioning how the measure would effect educational policies (like it would be a bad thing to teach kids to treat each other fairly? Wow what a concept). State Senator Righter had the gall to protest that gays would be able to get married in clinics or hospitals. State Senator Haines chimed in with the same “road to hell and damnation” speech that we always just tune out. so no surprises there.
Also note that some republicans supported the measure today. Senator Barickman (R) supported the bill today roughly citing that it’s the right thing to do. This goes to show that the old bigoted mindset of the GOP are seeing the error of their ways and are willing to compromise? Maybe it is because he is from the younger and more moderate mindset of Republicans that are willing to work towards fair and equal treatment? Whatever the case, let’s hope that we see more republicans step up for equality.
Good Job Illinois and Good luck!