Illinois state Senate expected to approve civil unions for same-sex couples today
Supported by faith organizations, including representatives of more than 270 congregations who signed the Faith Petition, the Illinois General Assembly passed Tuesday night the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act (SB 1716), which extends state law marriage protections to couples in committed civil unions, including same sex couples.
Ray Long, Monique Garcia and Rex Huppke of the Chicago Tribute wrote:
As onlookers broke out into cheers, the House for the first time ever approved civil unions, with one vote to spare. Supporters expect the Senate to follow suit Wednesday, and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn campaigned this fall on a pledge to sign it into law
“We have a chance here, as leaders have had in previous generations, to correct injustice and to move us down the path toward liberty,” said sponsoring Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, one of two openly gay lawmakers, his voice breaking with emotion. “It’s a matter of fairness, it’s a matter of respect, it’s a matter of equality.”
Vigorous opposition from the Catholic Church and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) could not overcome the momentum of public opinion. A Tribune Poll found “57 percent approved of legalizing civil unions while 32 percent disapproved.”
Opponents predicted a slide down some kind of “slippery slope” slide into an erosion of family values.
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