Valentine’s Day is a day when love is celebrated and recognized in its many forms. Today in the state of Illinois, Valentine’s Day became a historic moment. The Chicago Tribune reported today that the Democratic-led Senate has voted to allow same-sex marriage in Illinois.
The victory is the first time legislation has passed and is a great gift for gay and lesbian couples throughout Illinois and another spark in momentum for marriage equality supporters in other states who are also looking to legalize gay marriage.
The gay marriage measure now goes to the House where a greater fight is expected. But supporters will continue to show their resilience as the 34-21-2 Senate vote turnaround can be attributed to supporters who vowed to not give up after the gay marriage bill failed in January.
According to the Tribune under the measure, marriage officially would be changed in state law from an act between a man and a woman to two people. People in civil unions would be able to convert into gay marriages within a year of a potential same-sex marriage law going on the books in the state of Illinois. All that is in the way for gay and lesbian couples in the state is when the measure reaches the House as Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign the bill if and once it reaches his desk.
Perhaps the greatest opposition of advocates remains the Catholic Church and other church groups. Despite the endorsement from some religious leaders, Catholics continue to argue that same-sex marriage goes against the bible and the definition of true marriage. The law will not require ministers to perform the marriages of gay couples and churches will not be required to facilitate gay weddings.
Democratic senator Martin Sandoval called today’s victory an action that will break down barriers.
“This is a bill that is a defining moment here in this state. Why is it so wrong?”
Directing his comments directly at the Catholic and other churches he points at the failure of religious leaders in obtaining answers to a question that many same sex couples and supporters continue to ask. What is so wrong with two people in love sharing a life together and having that love recognized in all legal measures?
For now, on this Valentine’s Day, the victory proves there is nothing wrong with the process of love…at least for now anyway.
Join New England gay issues on Facebook.
Subscribe to New England gay issues