Equality Illinois, the state's oldest and largest LGBT advocacy organization, appreciates the endorsement offered today by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for the bill introduced last week in Springfield guaranteeing full marriage equality and his commitment to work for its passage.
"The Mayor's comments demonstrate an understanding that while civil unions were an important milestone in the state, they do not offer all loving and committed couples the full access to the rights and responsibilities that marriage would," said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois. " "The challenge is for us in the LGBT equality movement to ensure that we build on the momentum for marriage equality and grow support for the bill."
Gov. Patrick Quinn earlier this week said that he needs to study the issues surrounding same-sex marriage before making a decision regarding the proposed Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, which would give gay and lesbian couples the same Illinois marriage rights as opposite-sex couples.
"The Governor has advocated for relationship recognition equality for same-sex couples, has led the efforts to pass civil unions, has fought to ensure that same-sex couples in a civil union receive all the benefits intended for them to receive, and has publicly committed to supporting full equality for LGBT individuals and couples," Cherkasov said. "As the Governor continues to consider the needs of gay and lesbian couples in loving, committed relationships, I hope that he will become a champion of their full marriage equality. "