Encourages passage of marriage equality during veto session
SPRINGFIELD, IL â€“ As the 2013 fall legislative session gets underway, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today joined supporters of marriage equality for the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality.
â€œThe families gathered here today have been waiting too long for the same rights families like mine have,â€ said Simon. â€œWe will not stop this fight until true equality is the law of the land, and all Illinois families are recognized as being equal.â€
Simon joined thousands of marriage equality proponents, religious leaders and families in Springfield, for a rally at the base of President Abraham Lincolnâ€™s statue at the Capitol. Following the rally, Simon participated in a march around the Capitol complex.
â€œThis is a day to show that people across the state of Illinois want marriage equality for all. We are part of every fabric of society and we will come together with our allies to be heard in Springfield,â€ said Tracy Baim, March co-chair.
The March on Springfield for Marriage Equality is part of a grassroots movement aimed at passage of Senate Bill 10, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. Though Illinois currently has civil unions, only marriage affords couples the ability to file joint tax returns, participate in spousal Social Security and veteransâ€™ benefits, and benefit under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Senate Bill 10, sponsored by Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), passed the Senate in February and is awaiting a vote in the House. Its passage would make Illinois the 15th state in the nation to recognize marriage equality.
â€œIllinois is home to our nationâ€™s greatest president, who believed that all individuals should be treated equally, and we will not stop fighting until President Lincolnâ€™s dream is realized,â€ said Steans, Senate sponsor of the bill. â€œIt is time for all Illinois families to be treated equally.â€
â€œEvery day that passes that all Illinois families are not treated with equality is one day too long,â€ said Harris, House sponsor of the legislation. â€œI am grateful for the Lt. Governorâ€™s longstanding and heartfelt support for equality.â€