State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) writes a letter to Patch detailing her role, and her stance, on making same-sex marriage in Illinois a reality.
This could be a very historic two weeks for Illinois.
We are on the brink of making same-sex marriage legal in Illinois, a priority that has been on this community’s radar for countless years. The 12th District has long served as the Midwest’s hub for LGBT politics, social services, and advocacy work, serving as the think-tank for progressive LGBT policy.
The Senate is set to vote on gay marriage legislation this week, and if it passes, the House could take up the issue early next week. If it passes, Illinois would become the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage, and several other states appear to be not far behind.
Of course, there is always potential for disappointment. The votes may not add up. Our work may not be enough. After all, civil unions took years of labor and toil and a good amount of failure before success. But, for so many of us, granting this simple basic human right – the right to marry who you love without government interference – could not happen soon enough.
It’s time for Illinois to step up and be a leader – the kind of state that accepts people for who they are, respects families regardless of how they were formed, and treats its citizens the same under the eye of the law regardless of sexual orientation. Likewise, the proposed legislation respects the rights of religious institutions to decide whether or not to recognize same-sex marriages, maintaining a crystal clear separation of church and state.
I can’t wait to cast my vote for marriage equality next week. And, I can’t wait for the wedding invitations to start rolling in.
State Representative, 12th District