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TBP--Marriage Equality Bill Introduced in Illinois Senate: Matches House Version

Check out my newest piece over at The Bilerico Project: Marriage Equality Bill Introduced in Illinois Senate: Matches House Version

And we're off! The race to marriage equality for the fifth largest state in the Union was kicked off this morning when State Senator Heather Steans became the first Illinois Senator to introduce a marriage equality bill - SB2468 the Equal Marriage Act - in that chamber.

Steans_ILGA_HEAD_SML.jpgIllinois - which promises to have the eyes on the world on it if it is chosen to host the 2016 Olympic Games - is one of the most progressive states in the Midwest. It is the state that President Barack Obama calls home and where he honed his leadership credentials.

Representative Greg Harris had already introduced a similar bill earlier this year in the lower house - HB178, the Same-Sex Marriage and Religion Freedoms Act - as he has every session since 2007. Today marks the first time that that language has been matched in the Senate. Rep Harris also introduced a civil unions bill that both houses have been grappling with for some time now.

Speaking on the phone this morning, Rep. Heather Steans makes clear that the time for waiting is over. "Look around the country. We have five states now with Equal Marriage. Its time. Illinois shouldn't lag," she said.

Both Harris and Steans noted that several prominent Illinois lawmakers have come out in favor of full marriage equality - starting with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley when Representative Harris first introduced the bill in 2007. The highest profile of these equality endorsements have been Gubernatorial candidate Dan Hynes and both rivals for President Obama's former Senate seat, Alexi Giannoulias and David Hoffman.

Illinois citizens have been fighting tooth and nail for civil unions in the state, while over the border in Iowa, residents have now for several months been enjoying full marriage equality. Senator Steans sees herself in a position to change this as a lawmaker...

Continue reading my piece over at The Bilerico Project: Marriage Equality Bill Introduced in Illinois Senate: Matches House Version


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No 525865 54.25%

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No 527921 54.4%

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No 534486 55.01%

The court was unanimous in its 2009 ruling that Iowa's constitution required marriage equality."


-HEY #p2! (Progressives).

We can't do this alone.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans have been fighting for over half a Century to have basic Civil Rights. We have so much to do, and we are such a small group. Without an army of Progressive allies, we can't win. Our rights as American citizens are constantly being compromised, despite life-time service to our nation as good, contributing citizens. We can't wait any longer. We need our Progressive allies to step up and go to bat for us TODAY.

We must demand Progressives have got to make LGBT rights a top priority in 2010, or we will keep being put on the back-burner.

There will ALWAYS be something more important than LGBT equality affecting America--issues like Health Care Reform and the Economy effect LGBT people too! However, when we are discriminated against under the law every single day, we can't give our all to fixing these problems. We are long overdue to be counted as equal citizens. That&#…

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The NEW HAMPSHIRE House, which on May 6 APPROVED Marriage Equality by a vote of 178-167, has now stalled the REWRITTEN BY GOVERNOR JOHN LYNCH bill 188-186--That's right, folks, two votes.  25 members did not vote at all, and opponents of the bill failed to kill it in a 173-202 vote, but this STILL means we're waiting on NEW HAMPSHIRE to GET ITS SHIT TOGETHER!  The House passed a resolution to continue negotiating with the Senate by a vote of 207-168.  If that same number votes for the 're-re-renegotiated' bill in the next two weeks it will pass, but …