Same-sex couples in Illinois could get married, under a bill which has been filed in the Illinois House. Illinois approved civil unions last year. Six states, plus the District of Columbia, currently allow same-sex marriage. That does not count California, whose voter-approved ban has been ruled unconstitutional, with an appeal likely.
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Sponsoring State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), one of three openly gay lawmakers in the Illinois General Assembly, says the idea will not become law overnight: “I think it’s something that folks will have to work for, but they call the struggle for civil rights a struggle,” pointing to equal rights for women and for minority groups being years-long crusades. State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) says fewer people care who’s gay and who’s not: “Nobody’s asked me who I sleep with. Nobody asks me who I love. They ask me how we’re going to solve the problems the state is facing.”
Cassidy and State Rep. Deb Mell (D-Chicago) are among the bill’s co-sponsors. Mell made news last year when she announced her engagement to Christin Baker on the House floor, then married her in Iowa, the only Midwest same-sex marriage state.