Although the Illinois House considers same-sex bills virtually every year, yesterday State Senator Heather Steans (D-7th) introduced the first such 'marriage' bill in the Senate: The "Equal Marriage Act" (SB2468)
-- From "Illinois Senate gets first marriage equality bill" by Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, ChicagoNow.com 10/1/09
State Sen. Heather Steans on Thursday filed the Equal Marriage Act, a bill that, if passed, would allow same-sex couples to marry in Illinois and guarantee them the state rights afforded to all married couples, including health care decision-making and hospital visitation rights. The bill also states religious institutions wouldn't be required to perform any marriages inconsistent with their religious practices.
While some gay rights advocates hailed the step, Steans' challenger in next year's election--Jim Madigan, the first openly gay person to run for the Illinois senate--called it a publicity stunt orchestrated because she's "faced with a primary challenger who happens to be gay."
With two weeks left in the legislative session, Madigan said gay rights are best served by helping to pass the civil unions bill already introduced in the state House.
Steans said she has long been a supporter for same-sex marriage and was a chief co-sponsor of a Senate bill last year for civil unions. Introducing equal marriage in the senate is "the right thing to do, period," she said, and would benefit support for civil unions.
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