Main | Wednesday, December 01, 2010

BREAKING: Civil Unions PASS In Illinois Senate, Gov. Quinn To Sign Bill

The bill just passed 32-24! Updates and reactions will be added to this post shortly. Somebody rush a defibrillator to Porno Pete's house! Or don't!

Lambda Legal

"Same-sex couples in Illinois, many together for decades, will finally have the legal protections to take care of each other and their children," said Jim Bennett, Regional Director of Lambda Legal's Midwest Regional Office in Chicago. "Same-sex couples and their families faced a range of barriers to things that other couples take for granted, including spousal health benefits and hospital visitation - the goal of this law is to correct those problems. While all couples deserve the right to marry, all of us in the Land of Lincoln can be proud of this important step forward."
LGBT Change
"We are ecstatic,” stated Anthony Martinez, Executive Director of The Civil Rights Agenda and Co-Executive Director of LGBT Change. “It makes all of our work over the past two years worth every second.” The bill now makes its way to Governor Quinn’s desk and the Governor has indicated he will sign it. We would like to thank the Leadership in the General Assembly on this Bill including Senator Koehler and Senator Steans, as well as Representative Harris, Representative Mell, Representative Feigenholtz, and Representative Osterman. We also congratulate Equality Illinois, Lambda Legal, ACLU and all of the organizations, individuals, community members and everyone who contributed to this victory.
Freedom To Marry
"While a welcome step, civil union is no substitute for the full measure of respect, clarity, security, responsibilities, and protection of marriage itself. States that have created civil union as a means of both giving and withholding - providing legal protections while withholding the freedom to marry and all its meaning - have found that civil union falls far short of marriage with all its tangible and intangible significance in our lives. Many of those states - Connecticut, New Hampshire, and even Vermont, which first created civil union - have since pushed past civil union to marriage, recognizing the inadequacy and unfairness of a separate and unequal status. In five states and the District of Columbia, as well as 10 countries, same-sex couples have the freedom to marry, and the sky has not fallen. Having now laid a good foundation with civil union, Illinois should move swiftly to finish the job, ending exclusion from marriage for committed couples seeking the same responsibilities, same respect, and same rules."
Human Rights Campaign
"HRC applauds the Illinois Senate for recognizing that our families need the security of legal recognition now by swiftly passing a civil unions bill," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "Thank you to all of the Senators and Representatives who took a stand for justice, and to the tireless advocacy of Equality Illinois and other organizations who made such a victory possible." The bill, introduced by Rep. Greg Harris and passed by both the House and Senate, would permit both same-sex and opposite-sex couples to enter into civil unions and receive the same benefits, protections, and responsibilities under Illinois law that are granted to spouses. The bill, however, does not provide for same-sex marriages.
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
“Same-sex couples in Illinois today moved closer toward realizing equal treatment under the law. While not a substitute for full legal marriage, this measure provides important protections, rights and responsibilities to same-sex couples, and will help ensure they're able to take care of each other and their families. This is both fair and humane. We thank Equality Illinois and the many fair-minded people who advocated and fought for this bill. The lawmakers who voted for this legislation did the right thing, and we now look forward to the governor signing it into law.”

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