Written by Steven Keith
Wednesday, 27 February 2013 00:00
SPRINGFIELD — It is up to the Illinois House to decide whether same-sex marriage should be allowed in the state.
By a vote of 34-21, the Illinois Senate passed Senate Bill 10, which is a piece of legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state, on Valentine’s Day. Currently, the Illinois House is considering the bill.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has told various news outlets that he would sign SB 10 into law if the Illinois House approves the bill, which could happen this week.
Illinois Representative Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) voted against a civil union bill, Senate Bill 1716, on Nov. 30, 2010, that went into effect on June 1, 2011 and allows same-sex couples in the state to enter into a civil union. He plans to vote against SB 10.
“I was ‘No’ on civil unions and I believe that I would most likely be a ‘No’ vote on this bill as well,” said Brady. “I’d like to focus on our financial problems in the state and stay out of the social issues and let people make their own minds up.”
According to Brady, most people in his district, the 105th representative district, are against SB 10.
“I’ve met with groups that are for the bill, I’ve been with groups that are against the bill, I have taken numerous phone calls, emails, personal contacts with folks on both sides of the issue, but the majority of what I’ve heard from in my district has been individuals that are against the legislation,” said Brady.
Illinois Senator David Koehler (D-Peoria) is a co-sponsor of SB 10 and was a co-sponsor of the civil union bill. SB 10 is an “extension” of the civil union bill, said Koehler.
“It’s an extension of what we did with the civil union bill, primarily because there are federal issues which will affect a couple’s status, depending on social security, on pensions and things like that,” said Koehler.
Passing a same-sex marriage bill would allow the Illinois Legislation to move forward and focus on the state’s financial problems, said Koehler.
“I think whether people are for or against it, they’re ready to move on,” said Koehler. “There are other financial issues we have to deal with.”
Koehler thinks another same-sex marriage bill will be passed in the future, if the Illinois House rejects SB 10.
“I think if we pass it now that’s great,” said Koehler. “If not, it’ll be a matter of time. This is an important issue, but I think we’ve seen that attitudes have changed over time on this issue. It becomes less controversial I think with each generation because I think that people are just naturally more inclusive.
In addition to Illinois, four other states, including Hawaii, Delaware, New Jersey and Rhode Island, have civil union laws.
If the Illinois House approves SB 10, Illinois would become the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 12:17