GENEVA, IL October 29, 2013 With the Illinois General Assembly returning to Springfield next week, several mayors from cities and towns across Illinois signed onto a letter urging the Illinois House of Representatives to pass marriage equality during veto session, stating that "families cannot wait any longer for the State of Illinois to respect their freedom to marry." Senate Bill 10 the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act won overwhelming, bipartisan passage in the Illinois Senate in February and currently awaits action in the House.
"As the chief executive officers or our respective communities, our responsibility and guiding principal is to work with citizens and businesses to encourage, create, strengthen, and sustain an environment where everyone is provided an opportunity to succeed," the letter reads. "Each day, we see same sex couples and their families who suffer because they are denied the full protections of law, protections that strengthen families. These families cannot wait any longer for the State of Illinois to respect their freedom to marry."
The mayors signing onto today's letter include:
- Mayor Kevin Burns Geneva
- Mayor Bob Hausler - Plano
- Mayor Stephan Pickett - Sleepy Hollow
- Mayor Dale Berman - North Aurora
- Mayor Ray Rogina - St. Charles
- Mayor Dave Anderson Elburn
- Mayor Gary J. Golinski - Yorkville
Other local executives who already have indicated their support for the freedom to marry include:
- Mayor Rahm Emanuel Chicago
- Mayor Laurel Prussing - Urbana
- Mayor Donald Gerard Champaign
- Mayor Chris Koos Normal
- Mayor John Rey - Dekalb
- Mayor Richard Hofeld - Homewood
- Mayor Amanda Mank - Longview
- Mayor Nancy Rotering - Highland Park
- Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl - Evanston
- Mayor Kenneth Williams - Carbon Cliff
The letter also comes at a time where every major newspaper serving Illinois has endorsed the marriage equality bill, most recently including the Daily Herald, the Rockford Register-Star, the Belleville News-Democrat, the Springfield Journal-Register, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Quad City Times.
"Mayors for Marriage Equality is proud to lend their voice to the growing chorus of citizens, faith based leaders, business leaders, organized labor and others to provide same-sex couples with equal access to status, benefits, protections, rights and responsibilities of civil marriage," the letter concludes. "We encourage you to help add Illinois to the growing list of states that recognize the freedom to marry, and unleash the economic promise and power of inclusion and assimilation of all people by supporting the Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Fairness Act."
A copy of the open letter is attached with this release. Information about the legislation is available at www.illinoisunites.org, along with information about how citizens can make their voices heard.
View letter at link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/pdf/Mayors4MarriageEqualityOpenLetter.pdf .