President Obama has supported steps to legalize the marriage of same-sex couples in Illinois. According to a White House spokesperson, the President has spoken in favor of an Illinois Legislature proposal regarding same-sex couples, which aims to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.
The President, a former Illinois senator, holds that people who love each other and want to be in a committed relationship should have the right to be married and that it is wrong to stop them from doing so. The President has also said on earlier occasion that he supports same-sex marriage.
Reportedly, state Senator Heather Steans confirmed that the same-sex marriage proposal will be initiated soon. Sources confirmed that most Democrats and 260 Illinois faith leaders have supported same-sex marriage. Democratic leaders are hopeful that they have the required number of votes to pass the approval even before the newly elected Democratic super-majority takes over.
The approval of the proposal will make Illinois the tenth state to legalize same-sex marriage and the first Midwestern state to do so by a legislative vote. Previously in 2011, civil unions were legalized that gave some rights of marriage to same-sex partners, but activists believed that the rights provided were not enough.
A major decision has to be made as to whether the state will give religious groups the right to refuse to perform same-sex marriages, as New York did in 2011. Nonetheless, the approval of the proposal in the President’s home state with his support will be a landmark victory for same-sex partners.
Nine states have legalized same-sex marriage thus far. Legalization in Illinois will give same-sex couples new hope and the chance to live their life as they desire. It should also be noted that same-sex partners always have the option of consulting an experienced legal professional in the field of same-sex marriage in order to understand their rights under state law.
Source: Reuters, “Obama endorses gay marriage proposal in Illinois,” Karen Brooks, Dec. 30, 2012