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Obama Lauds Ill. Lawmakers for Passing Marriage Equality Bill

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Wednesday Nov 6, 2013

On Tuesday evening the Illinois House voted to approve a same-sex marriage bill, readying the state to become the 15th in the nation to recognize gay marriage. President Barack Obama released a statement on Wednesday applauding the lawmakers' decision to support marriage equality.

"Tonight, I applaud the men and women of the Illinois General Assembly, a body in which I was proud to serve, for voting to legalize marriage equality in my home state," Obama said in a statement via the White House. "As President, I have always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally under the law. Over time, I also came to believe that same-sex couples should be able to get married like anyone else.

"So tonight, Michelle and I are overjoyed for all the committed couples in Illinois whose love will now be as legal as ours - and for their friends and family who have long wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and equally under the law," he said.

Obama went on to laud members of the General Assembly for "approaching this issue in a fair and open way" and for "engaging the religious community in this conversation."

"Throughout this debate, they've made it clear that this is about civil marriages and civil laws, and made sure that churches and other institutions of faith are still free to make their own decisions that conform to their own teachings," the president said. "As I said in my Inaugural Address last January, our journey as a nation is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

"And tonight, I'm so proud that the men and women elected to serve the people of the great state of Illinois have chosen to take us one step further on that journey to perfect our union," he said.

Ill. House lawmakers approved the bill by a 61-54-2 vote on Tuesday. The measure has been sent back to the Senate for some adjustments and Gov. Pat Quinn has vowed to sign the bill into law.

Same-sex marriage in Illinois will begin in June.


  • Brandt Hardin, 2013-11-06 14:45:21

    We need an across-the-board decision by the Federal Government on this issue. Here in TN, they’ve gone as far as to create a new holiday- "Traditional Marriage Day" in which the wording of the bill quotes The Holy Bible. Why does the State feel it has the right to continually define marriage? Exactly what is "Traditional" Marriage in Tennessee seeing as even Interracial Marriage is STILL outlawed by the State Constitution along with Same Sex Marriage?

  • Wayne M., 2013-11-09 09:59:20

    The fact that many Christians forget is that the Biblical definition of marriage has changed over history. Anyone who considers and reads ALL of the Bible knows full well that at one time "Traditional Marriage" was one man and several wives (e.g.: Jacob, David, Solomon) and likely also some concubines as well. The idea of marriage being one man and one woman was actually a move toward recognizing the equality of women against surrounding pagan cultures that either still believed in polygamy or supported the idea of men keeping concubines - a practice that actually came back into vogue by aristocratic classes in the Medieval age. Therefore, recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples is one more step in marriage evolution - and this is best recognized by one law for all people, not different states having different laws.

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