CHICAGOThe Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) encourages members of the Illinois state legislature to support the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act (HB5170), the marriage equality bill co-sponsored by State Representative Greg Harris (13th) and State Senator Heather Steans (7th). CTU issued their support in a press release Jan. 2.
The bill would legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois, re-defining notions of family and increasing the possibility for children throughout the state to grow up in stable, nurturing environments, CTU stated.
Gov. Pat Quinn has indicated support for this initiative and the CTU will support the signing of HB5170 if it is passed in the legislature.
"If the end result is the love of a child and the strengthening of the family bond, the parents' sexual orientation should make no difference," said CTU President Karen GJ Lewis. "All Illinois couples should be treated equally."
The CTU also stated: All Illinois residents deserve equal rights and fair access to benefits under the law, but lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals have long been discriminated against by marriage lawslaws that also fail to legally protect them in the same manner as legal protect provided for heterosexual couples. HB5170, which has the backing of a number of high-ranking local and national politicians, as well as business leaders and gay marriage activists, is a progressive leap toward equal rights that would make Illinois the tenth state in the country with legal same-sex marriage.
"We are in full support this measure for two reasonsthe equality it will help bring to our union members who are in committed, same-sex relationships, and the stability it will provide for the children and families we serve," Lewis said.