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Former President Bill Clinton calls on Illinois House of Representatives to pass marriage equality

Marriage equality

By Scottie Thomaston

Illinois Unites For Marriage, the state coalition for the passage of the marriage equality law, said today that former President Bill Clinton is calling on state legislators to pass the bill before the Assembly adjourns on May 31. Clinton said in a statement:

“Our nation’s permanent mission is to form a ‘more perfect union’ – deepening the meaning of freedom, broadening the reach of opportunity, strengthening the bonds of community,” said President Clinton. “That mission has inspired and empowered us to extend rights to people previously denied them. Every time we have done that, it has strengthened our nation. Now we should do it again, in Illinois, with marriage equality.”
“Since the days of Abraham Lincoln, Illinois has stood for the proposition that all citizens should be treated equally under the law,” President Clinton said in Tuesday’s statement. “Lincoln himself came to Springfield in search of opportunity, and he dedicated his life to securing equal opportunity for all citizens. I believe that for Illinois and for our nation as a whole, in the 21st century that must include marriage equality.”

In recent weeks, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has reiterated his support for marriage equality, telling the state House to send the bill to his desk. And yesterday it was reported that LGBT leaders in the state have said they have obtained the votes required to pass the bill, and that there’s no reason it shouldn’t be voted on before the session ends.

Clinton has shifted his views on marriage equality over the years, and he wrote recently that the Supreme Court should rule that DOMA, which he signed in 1996, is unconstitutional. He had previously asked North Carolina’s voters to oppose Amendment 1, the anti-gay marriage ban that passed last year.

If the House passes the bill, Illinois will become the 13th state with marriage equality for same-sex couples. With only days left in the session, the vote would be expected soon, if it’s called.


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