Illinois and Minnesota have marriage equality bills before their legislatures, and the Illinois bill has already passed the Illinois Senate and is now waiting for a vote in the House of Representatives. The governors of both Minnesota and Illinois have pledged to sign marriage equality bills into law, should their states’ legislatures pass them. Votes in both states are expected soon.
What I think is especially relevant for Illinois is that less than a year ago, Delaware enacted civil unions (which will cease being offered on July 1, and after that, all existing civil unions will be automatically converted to marriages over time). The Illinois General Assembly passed civil unions not quite two years ago; Delaware shows that there’s no reason not move on full marriage equality right away.
For me, the quote of the year in all the marriage equality battles came from Delaware Senator Karen Peterson, who came out as lesbian during the debate. Sen. Peterson said:
"If my happiness somehow demeans or diminishes your marriage, you need to work on your marriage."I’ve never heard that put better.
I am very busy this week, but this is something to celebrate. Congratulations Delaware and Rhode Island—now, on to Illinois and Minnesota!
*The District of Columbia, which has the city of Washington, the US Capital, also has marriage equality, but DC is not a state.
Graphic above is from the American Foundation for Equal Rights' blog post on Delaware.