One more debate and vote, and same-sex marriage will be a signature away from becoming law in Illinois. An Illinois House committee on Tuesday night approved a same-sex marriage bill. State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) is sponsoring the bill that passed the Senate on Valentine’s Day. Harris, who is gay, says the treatment of same-sex couples under current law is unequal.
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“In Illinois, we tried civil unions, and the separate status has time and time again proven itself to fall short. It is not understood nor recognized as a legal status. Particularly in times of emergency and crisis, families have been kept apart. Parents have not been allowed to be with their children in emergency rooms or intensive care units, and the legal status of relationships and families have not been preserved,” he said
Opponent Jennifer Morse, president of the Ruth Institute, which advocates for one-man, one-woman marriage exclusively, testified on the rights of children to have a mother and a father. “Marriage is adult society’s institutional structure for protecting these legitimate interests of children,” Morse said. “Without this essential public purpose, we would not need marriage at all as a distinct social institution. Same sex-couples and opposite-sex couples are obviously different with respect to this essential public purpose of marriage, and treating different things different is not discrimination,” she said.
S.B. 10 passed the House Executive Committee by a vote of 6-5.