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Will Supreme Court gay marriage rulings revive push for gay marriage in Illinois?
WASHINGTON–The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday struck down provisions in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denied federal benefits to married gay couples and cleared the way for California to reinstate gay marriage.
Will the rulings put pressure on Illinois lawmakers to try again to pass gay marriage in Illinois? That’s what Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel are calling for in the wake of the rulings.
Gov. Pat Quinn: “Today the Supreme Court took a historic step by providing equal access to more than 1,100 federal rights and benefits for same-sex couples.
“Members of the Illinois House now have more than 1,100 new reasons to make marriage equality the law in Illinois.
“This is a monumental day for freedom in the history of our nation. The opportunity to guarantee equal rights and benefits to all citizens – under both state and federal law – is one we must seize here in the Land of Lincoln without delay.
“Now is the time for all to put differences aside, band together and redouble our efforts to make it happen.
“I will continue working with members of the Illinois House and all of our tireless community advocates to bring marriage equality to Illinois as soon as possible.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel: “The Supreme Court’s decision today is a major step forward in the ongoing fight to ensure that government won’t discriminate and will treat all love equally. This decision should strengthen our commitment in the State of Illinois toward ensuring that the life-long commitments of all Americans are honored and respected by the law. The state should not be standing in the way of two people loving each other. America has faced obstacles on our journey to equality before and we have always overcome them. The struggle for marriage equality will be no different.”
“This is one of the most important days in the history of our movement for LGBT civil rights,” said Rick Garcia, Policy Director and Director of the Equal Marriage Illinois Project for The Civil Rights Agenda, Illinois’ largest LGBT civil rights organization. “Although we are thrilled with the ruling, we are painfully cognizant that in Illinois same-gender couples still cannot be married and we must change that immediately. The Illinois House of Representatives must act as soon as possible.”
Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) “Today’s ruling is another important step to make sure that all Americans are treated equally. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was inherently unfair and this is a major step forward for our country. The LGBT community is entitled to the same rights afforded to everyone else and our nation will not reach its full potential until all Americans are given the opportunity to marry the individual they love.
“The Supreme Court and Congress need to grant all Americans – gay or straight – the ability to protect their partner. While I was recovering at Walter Reed after being shot down in Iraq, my husband Bryan was at my bedside every day. Not only was he offering love and support during such a difficult time, but he was also making critical decisions for me that improved my quality of life. Often, those decisions were contrary to what other family members would have decided, but as my life partner, my husband knew me better and made the correct choices for me when I could not. I support the freedom to marry because everyone deserves the same level of access, support and love.”
Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) “I am proud that the Supreme Court called DOMA what it is—unconstitutional. All loving couples should have the opportunity to make a life-long, loving commitment called ‘marriage’. This is a landmark day for equality, and I’m personally committed to continuing to fight for equality in Washington and at home, and I hope I will soon be able to proudly cast my vote in support of full marriage equality.”
Rep. Bill Foster, (D-Ill.) “My father was a civil rights lawyer, and I was raised with a strong belief that all people deserve equal rights and protection under the law,” Foster said. “That is why I am pleased to see that the Supreme Court has upheld the ideals of our Constitution and struck down DOMA. While this is truly a historic day for members of the LGBT community across the country, we must continue to do everything possible to ensure equal rights for all of our citizens. I will continue to stand with the LGBT community in their struggle for equality, because everyone — no matter who they are, where they came from, or who they love – deserve equal rights under the law.”
President Barack Obama said in a Tweet, “Today’s DOMA ruling is a historic step forward for #MarriageEquality.”
Read the decision in the historic case, U.S. vs Windsor: