Illinois Gay Marriage Bill Passes Committee, Goes On for House Vote

Executive Committee members voted largely along party lines Tuesday night.

By Shannon Antinori

Members of the Illinois House Executive Committee voted 6-5 Tuesday night to advance the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, which would legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois.

Senate Bill 10 was approved by State Senators on Valentine’s Day. It now heads for a full vote by the House of Representatives.

Read: Illinois Senate Approves Gay Marriage: How Naperville's Reps Voted 

On Tuesday night, committee members voted along party lines, with Democrats supporting the marriage fairness act and Republicans voting against the measure, save for one exception, according to the Huffington Post. Democrat Eddie Lee Jackson Sr. of East St. Louis voted against the bill.

No definite date has been set for a full House vote on the bill. 

Dan Johnson February 27, 2013 at 10:48 PM
It is often difficult for those who are not harmed by laws and religious beliefs which perpetuate anti-gay prejudice, to recognize and appreciate the severity of harm caused by those anti-gay laws and scientifically unsupportable beliefs. Laws that deny equal treatment, inevitably stigmatize and dehumanize, resulting in needless harm. "We know for certain that lesbian and gay individuals suffer harm to their physical and psychological health, and to their relationships and quality of life, as result of the shame, isolation and stigma accrued from their social and legal disenfranchisement." Dr. Chris Beyrer, of Johns Hopkins It is time to stop harming others needlessly, and treat others as you would yourself, under the law. Decades of history, literature, and science, in addition to trial records of many different courts have all clearly demonstrated: Prejudice and discrimination cause needless suffering and death.
Buford Pusser February 28, 2013 at 12:25 AM
Sickening. Same sick marriage sucks.
Dan Johnson February 28, 2013 at 12:48 AM
Life isn't fair. You can be. The law is required to treat all persons equally. The fact we often fail to live up to that requirement only shows why it is important to require it under the law. The founders were well aware the majority would deny equal treatment to the minority if given the chance. That is why they promised equal treatment for all in the founding documents and required it in the constitution. 5th: "No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;" 14th: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Buford Pusser February 28, 2013 at 01:53 AM
The laws don't pertain to same sick marriage.
Dan Johnson February 28, 2013 at 03:43 AM
"The Court concludes that, based on the justifications proffered by Congress for its passage of DOMA, the statute fails to satisfy heightened scrutiny and is unconstitutional as applied to Ms. Golinski. Although the Court finds that DOMA is subject to and fails to satisfy heightened scrutiny, it notes that numerous courts have found that the statute fails even rational basis review." "The Court finds that neither Congress' claimed legislative justifications nor any of the proposed reasons proffered by BLAG constitute bases rationally related to any of the alleged governmental interests. Further, after concluding that neither the law nor the record can sustain any of the interests suggested, the Court, having tried on its own, cannot conceive of any additional interests that DOMA might further." "Prejudice, we are beginning to understand, rises not from malice or hostile animus alone. It may result as well from insensitivity caused by simple want of careful, rational reflection or from some instinctive mechanism to guard against people who appear to be different in some respects from ourselves." Conclusion: DOMA, as it relates to Golinski's case, "violates her right to equal protection of the law under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution" and "the statute fails to satisfy heightened scrutiny and is unconstitutional as applied to Ms. Golinski."
Dan Johnson February 28, 2013 at 03:49 AM
Gill v. OPM In the wake of DOMA, it is only sexual orientation that differentiates a married couple entitled to federal marriage-based benefits from one not so entitled. And this court can conceive of no way in which such a difference might be relevant to the provision of the benefits at issue. By premising eligibility for these benefits on marital status in the first instance, the federal government signals to this court that the relevant distinction to be drawn is between married individuals and unmarried individuals. To further divide the class of married individuals into those with spouses of the same sex and those with spouses of the opposite sex is to create a distinction without meaning. And where, as here, "there is no reason to believe that the disadvantaged class is different, in relevant respects" from a similarly situated class, this court may conclude that it is only irrational prejudice that motivates the challenged classification. As irrational prejudice plainly never constitutes a legitimate government interest, this court must hold that Section 3 of DOMA as applied to Plaintiffs violates the equal protection principles embodied in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution."
Gerard Schilling March 03, 2013 at 10:23 PM
To turn the laws of land and the state upside down to pander to one tenth of one percent of the population who are basically social anarchist who continually shove this crap down our throats, in our schools, our churches, our military, our society and on our dumb politicians is beyond the pale. The special privileges given to them by passing these laws is discriminatory against the heterosexual population. Examples might be polygamy, hook-up couples who can’t get health or pension benefits, animal lovers who want to marry their dogs etc. It is time to put an end to this nonsense and our Springfield politicians should be spending their time and our money on solving the real and present financial problems facing this state!
Dan Johnson March 03, 2013 at 10:50 PM
Your argument fails the test of reason. It relies on appeal to emotion rather than reason. Treating same sex couples equally under the laws currently in effect does not "turn the laws of land and the state upside down". It does not change the "what" of marriage for opposite sex couples. Their marriages, current and future, remain the same. Our government was founded on the promise of equal treatment under the law, as expressed in the founding documents and required by the constitution. It is discrimination that overturns the principal of equality. Again, the legal rights of the heterosexual population are not lost by treating all persons equally under the law. Special privileges are those reserved for some but excluded from others. It is the heterosexual population that currently enjoys special rights, through the unconstitutional denial of equal treatment to others. Your other excuses fail because equal treatment under the same laws does not require changing those laws to accommodate something entirely different. Removing the restriction on gender does not require removing the restrictions on age, informed consent, close blood relative, not currently married, or being human.
Dan Johnson March 03, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Marriage it is a fundamental right of the individual. The only eligibility requirement for fundamental rights is being human. Reasonable restrictions may be made only when a compelling and legitimate governmental interest can withstand judicial scrutiny. Most can agree with the courts that reasonable restrictions include age, ability to demonstrate informed consent, and not being closely related, or currently married. Gender is not a restriction. Requiring one of each serves no legitimate governmental interest. While churches may place any restrictions they choose on their own ceremonies, the government can only restrict fundamental rights when a compelling and legitimate justification can be demonstrated. Procreation ability has never been a requirement for marriage, and therefore fails as a legitimate qualification. Yet even that irrational excuse for discrimination ignores the fact that gay people can and do reproduce, and are raising children either biologically related or adopted. Denial of equal treatment under the law provides nothing to opposite sex couple families. It only harms same sex couple families needlessly. Gay couples are seeking to be treated equally under the laws currently in effect, in the remaining states that do not yet recognize their marriages, and by the federal government. Neither tradition nor gender provides a legitimate governmental interest sufficient for denial of this fundamental right.
Dan Johnson March 03, 2013 at 11:02 PM
50 briefs in support of marriage equality have been submitted to the Supreme Court. The irrational excuses for discrimination are refuted and shown to be irrational. Links to PDF copies of major amicus briefs filed in support of the constitutional challenge to California's Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that eliminated equal marriage rights for same-sex partners: http://www.sfcityattorney.org/index.aspx?page=501
Gerard Schilling March 04, 2013 at 08:38 PM
Keep dreaming my delusional and rationalizing friend. All of history and all societies with their respective religions, over 7,000 years of recorded history, debunk your protestations. They recognized the need for and protection of a stable unit called the family comprised of one man and one woman in order to raise normal and stable (mentally and emotionally) children. They protected and enshrined this institution since it formed the bonding glue for all of civilization starting with clans and tribes. Call your hooking-up anything you want and who cares what you do but there is no such thing as marriage between same sex individuals.
Dan Johnson March 04, 2013 at 09:49 PM
Marriage has taken many forms and meanings throughout history including the 8 different types found in the bible. Same sex couples have also been accepted at various times and places around the world, including in the Christian religion and others as well. Same sex unions are nothing new. Currently, 10 states and several other countries recognize same sex marriages, and more are moving in that direction. Illinois is not alone. A tradition of prejudice and discrimination fails to provide a legitimate governmental interest sufficient for continuing that harmful tradition.
Dan Johnson March 04, 2013 at 09:52 PM
"The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies." ( American Anthropological Association)
Dan Johnson March 04, 2013 at 09:56 PM
"Overall, studies indicate that children raised with lesbian co-parents do just as well as children raised by heterosexual married couples. The children of lesbian co-parents may even have fewer behavioral problems and higher self-esteem." http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35124737/ns/health-childrens_health/t/kids-do-well-same-sex-parents-study-says/ "Parenting by same-sex families is just as good -- if not slightly advantageous -- for children when compared to heterosexual families, a Justice Department study has concluded." http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=38cc20ce-7f14-44ea-b4d9-d4cd16d7a269&k=9378
Dan Johnson March 04, 2013 at 09:58 PM
"Unfortunately, many people are not aware of the three decades of research showing that children of gay or lesbian parents are just as mentally healthy as children with heterosexual parents, notes Cerbone. Children of gay and lesbian parents reported closer ties with their schools and classmates. Patterson's and others' findings that good parenting, not a parent's sexual orientation, leads to mentally healthy children may not surprise many psychologists. What may be more surprising is the finding that children of same-sex couples seem to be thriving, though they live in a world that is often unaccepting of their parents." http://www.apa.org/monitor/dec05/kids.aspx It is the relationship between the parents and child that determines successful outcome, not the gender of the parents. Anyone who has worked with abused children will tell you from both experience and training, having two parents of the opposite sex is no guarantee the parents will not emotionally or physically abuse the child. Gay parents are motivated to be parents, while many straight parents are not. Many straight parents have accidental and unwanted children, while others simply have no idea how to be good parents.
Dan Johnson March 04, 2013 at 10:00 PM
Expert testamony from the Hawaii Supreme Court hearing: Dr Eggebeen (witness against marriage equality) also conceded that "gay and lesbian couples can , and do, make excellent parents" "that they are capable of raising a healthy child", and "that children of same sex couples would be helped if their families had access to or were able to receive benefits of marriage". Dr. Charlotte Patterson: there was "no data or research which establishes that gay fathers and lesbian mothers are less capable of being good parents than non-gay people." Dr. David Brodzinsky: "The issue is not the structural variable, biological versus nonbiological, one parent versus two parent. The issue is really the process variables, how children are cared for, is the child provided warmth, it the child provided consistency of care, is the child provided a stimulated environment, is the e child given support.... and when you take a look at structural variables, there's not all that much support that structural variable in and of themselves are all that important." Dr. Pepper Shwartz: "the primary quality of parenting is not the parenting structure, or biology, but is the nurturing relationship between parent and child."


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