Illinois Civil Unions

It happened just moments ago.  The Illinois Senate passed legislation granting same-sex couples the right to have civil unions.  The vote was 32-24.  The Illinois House had passed the same bill earlier in the week.  Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who was in the Senate when the bill passed is expected to sign the bill… and same-sex civil unions will take effect in July 2011.

I do recognize that this is not full equality as we have been fighting for… as it only grants several of the same rights as a marriage (and I’m still doing research on what those rights are), but this is still a victory and a major step toward full marriage equality for our community.

For those that know me personally (or for those that have read my bio page), you know that I was born and raised in the state of Illinois.  And though I have not lived there for a few years now, I still consider myself an Illinoisan, and today, I am very proud of the state that I was born in and to which I still visit often.   And though there is still much work to be done, our cause has new focus and a renewed sense of energy.  The times are changing, and Illinois has shown that it is willing to be progressive and to change… and work for a better future for all of its citizens that dwell within its borders.

A great man once came from this particular state that I write about today.  His name was Abraham Lincoln, and he had a major problem to fix.  The union was divided into free and slave states.  And most of the slave states had succeeded from the union and had instigated a civil war within the nation that tore at the very fabric of our founding.  Lincoln had to make some big decisions… one of which was deciding that no man should be unequal nor should he be in bondage to another.  It is a message that has echoed through the annals of time since then.  And I could not help but have my mind drift to this historic figure for some words that could reflect on the victory that has been experienced today.  “Let us at all times remember that all American citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in bonds of fraternal feeling.” Whether you are for or against civil unions, and whether you are for or against gay marriage, we must remember that we are but one people.  We are entitled to our beliefs, however they may be.  But it is not within our right to deny anyone or any group of people the right to equality that other citizens share.

Though this is not the end of the campaign for our community in Illinois, it is something that is still worth celebrating.  Tomorrow will come soon enough, and the push for equality will resume.  But this time, there will be something different in the air.  Progress.  I commend the Democrats and the Republicans that supported this bill, and I can only hope that they will continue to support such progress as the future unfolds.

LINK: Illinois General Assembly (Senate bill)

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5 Responses to Illinois Civil Unions

  1. James S. says:

    And it was on this date, December 1, in 1955 that Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man. She was arrested for violating the law. Her actions started a year-long boycott of the Montgomery buses… and is credited with starting the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.

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  3. James S. says:

    Marriages vs. Civil Unions: Similar, Not Identical…
    http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=230412&catid=3

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      I operate my blog through wordpress.com and the layout is one of theirs. I hope that answers your question and thanks for reading. Hope that you continue to do so. 🙂

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