Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is sending a message to Illinois lawmakers this week: Illinois must lead the way for marriage equality.
Emanuel called on Illinoisans to make same-sex marriage a reality Nov. 13 in a statement issued by his office.
The statement notes the mayor's past support of civil unions in Illinois as well as his support for ending the military's ban on openly gay service.
"While we have come to a greater appreciation for the contributions of the GLBT community, gays and lesbians are still denied one essential freedom: the right to make a life-long commitment to the person they love," Emanuel wrote.
The statement goes on to note the diversity of Chicago and the history of Illinois as a leader on struggles for equality.
"Marriage is the next step in our nation's march forward," Emanuel wrote. "Illinois must lead the way."
LGBT advocates are pushing for marriage equality both in the courts and in the legislature. Openly gay state Rep. Greg Harris has expressed hope that a marriage equality could be passed in the upcoming lame duck session. Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties union are also representing 25 couples suing for the right to marry in the state.
Emanuel's call for marriage equality in the state has been published by major media outlets throughout the state.