Illinois Senate Approves Same Sex Marriage!

Earlier today, on Valentine’s Day, the Illinois Senate passed legislation to allow same-sex marriage in Illinois.

As an Illinoisan, I am obviously over the moon about this news!

Here are the quick details:

  • The legislation passed 34-21 with two abstentions.
  • It will change the state law defining marriage from “a man and a woman” to “two people.”
  • It won’t force any religious institutions to take part in gay marriages (they don’t want to catch Teh Gey, after all…)
  • Sen. Heather Steans sponsored the measure (someone get her an edible arrangement, STAT!)
  • The bill now goes to the House where “the fight is expected to be tougher.”
  • Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

Sen. Heather Steans

Hopefully it won’t be long before we report some more good news from the House!

About Jessica Bluemke

Jessica Bluemke grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Ball State University in 2008 with a BA in Literature. She currently works as a writer and resides on the North side of Chicago.

  • A3Kr0n

    Wow. Hemant’s friends at the Illinois Family Institute must be kind of mad right now.
    Ya, they are. I just checked.
    “Counterfeit Marriage Legislation Passes in Illinois Senate”.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson
    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      Thank you, Rich. Exactly the right anthem for this wonderful and terrible time in which we live.

  • pagansister

    YEA! Now onto the IL House@

  • Haha USA

    GG. Nice margin too

    I’m glad they made little baby Jesus cry.

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

    IL gay couples are one step closer to unnecessarily including the government in their personal lives. But, yeah… hurray for movement toward equality.

    • JustSayin’

      Yeah, well, I guess if “unnecessarily including the government” in my personal life is what it takes to safeguard everything that my partner and I have worked for, I guess I’ll take it. I mean, as it stands, I’m not even guaranteed to be able to see him in the hospital if he should have to be there for some reason.

      Thanks for trivializing a milestone. It looks to me like your heterosexual privilege is showing.

      • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

        If the government allows heterosexuals to marry, there is no good reason to prevent homosexuals from doing the same — or, for that matter, any grouping of consenting adults, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

        I think marriage (beginning and ending) should be something people do among themselves, without the inclusion of the government. The safeguards you mentioned are a benefit, but can be achieved without legal marriage, though probably not as easily.

        I think you misunderstood me. I favor more marriage freedom than even legalized homosexual marriage can provide. To me, the solution is to get government out of marriage, and leave it to the people.

        On a different note, I’ve noticed that mentioning “privilege” in disagreements on social issues has become quite popular.

        • JustSayin’

          All of those things you mentioned, such as getting the government out of the marriage “business” altogether, would be fine and dandy, but that’s not the world we currently live in. The way things are, we’re much more likely to accomplish marriage equality than we are to achieve what you’re proposing, which would require a complete reconstruction of the institution from the ground up.

          Furthermore, to your last point, whether the concept of privilege has become trendy or otherwise is immaterial as long as it is germane to the issue at hand. I chose to bring it up because only someone who already benefits from the system as it is can afford to pontificate on pie-in-the-sky what-ifs. Almost every time this issue is raised there is someone who makes the same case that you’re making, and it’s really pretty useless in terms of what we can actually make happen. Should the government regulate marriage? I don’t know. Maybe that’s something to debate at some point down the road–when everyone is on equal footing. You stated that, “The safeguards you mentioned are a benefit, but can be achieved without legal marriage, though probably not as easily.” Indeed, it is most definitely not as easy to do so for gay and lesbian couples as it is for straights. (If you doubt me on this, I can direct you to an excellent and disturbing documentary on this very issue, entitled “For My Wife.”) I also mention privilege because as a presumably straight person, you have evidently (judging from your comments) never experienced the myriad ways in which same-sex couples are prevented from enjoying even the most basic rights associated with even their common-law heterosexual counterparts, very often despite our having gone to ridiculous expense with lawyers and courts. (All of which, I might add, are afforded to straights without question once the nominal fee that is charged for a marriage license has been paid.)

          I called you out because, regardless of whether you support marriage equality (and you do, as I’m happy to see) or your intention, when you make such offhand comments it trivializes something for which people like myself have been fighting very hard. This most definitely isn’t merely an abstract, philosohpical issue for us.

          • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

            Wow, I don’t know where to begin. More importantly, I’m not sure correcting you is worth the effort. What do you think?

  • Conspirator

    I’d just like to be able to grab the opponents to this stuff by the shoulders, shake them back and forth and yell “If it doesn’t affect you why do you care?”

    • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

      But they think it does affect them, and their children, and the culture, and the world. If you get the opportunity, try an argument instead. I doubt you can shake all of that out of them. But, between us, I think shaking would be much more enjoyable.

      • observer

        I’d rather sense-smack them around with one of those Japanese slap-fans.

  • CelticWhisper

    I feel like the name “Heather Steans” should ring a bell, but it doesn’t. Is there a particular reason why she’s a significant figure to be sponsoring this bill (former christian who changed her tune, out as LGBT, out as atheist, etc.)? Or is it just a general pat on the back for doing the right thing?

  • http://v1car.wordpress.com/ The Vicar

    Yay! Good day to be an Illinoisian, even if the folks downstate think they’re in North Kentucky.

    • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

      Can we just revel in the glory of a victory on the path to equality and not make broad generalizations about “downstate”? There are lots of us, even in rural downstate, who have no aspirations to be Kentuckians.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    So will the good folks of IL do what they did in Maine when it became law in 2009?

    Opponents of the bill successfully petitioned for a referendum before the law went into effect and sadly they won at the polls. Yes, last year the good folks of Maine did vote for SSM and it is now legal but it took two years longer for that to happen.

    • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

      It would have to be a constitutional amendment, as we don’t have a referendum/initiative process like Maine or other states (AFAIK). I daresay that the chances of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage passing in Illinois are very small.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

        Glad to read that and thanks for the information.

  • Brian Scott
    • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

      The website handles embedding the video. All you need to do is post the URL.

      • Brian Scott

        Thank you kindly. I can never remember how different configurations handle embedded video…

        • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

          Same here, and sometimes I get way more than I expect. On the Atheist Experience blog, posting a youtube link creates an enormous video in the thread. The first time I did it, I felt like such an asshole.

  • anniewhoo

    Come on Illinois! I’m enjoying watching the domino effect of marriage equality being recognized in more and more states. Looking forward to the day when we look back on all this and think of how silly we (as a nation, not us personally) behaved.

  • Keulan
  • baal

    Hrm – Has a poli-sci person already looked to see if Dems have a bias towards holding State senates and the (R) have a bias on holding the State houses? My theory is that gerrymandering pervades all districts but Senate districts, being more populous, are harder to bias.

    Even if the bill dies in the IL-House, the fact that Dems are willing to fight on the issue and see it as a winner with the population is a great thing.

  • Carpinions

    Congratulations to my home state! All the way from the political hell that is Arizona.


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