Illinois lawmakers ran out of time in their efforts to redefine marriage during their current session, despite having a same-sex marriage bill approved Thursday by a Senate committee.
However the state’s General Assembly is expected to take up the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Act” during its next session, which begins next Wednesday.
If passed into law, Illinois would be the first Midwest state — and the 10th state along with the District of Columbia — to pass same-sex marriage via legislation. Iowa’s Supreme Court approved same-sex marriage in 2009.
In 2010, the Illinois General Assembly enacted a civil union law providing the same rights to same-sex couples that apply to marriage couples.
The Thomas More Society, a public interest law firm in Chicago, wrote a letter to the state’s General Assembly on Thursday urging lawmakers to oppose the Act, saying it would eradicate the “meager” religious protections of the civil union law. The protections, the letter states, are not included in the 2013 same-sex marriage bill.
“We as a society have a great interest in upholding marriage because it is the ideal place for children to be raised,” said Peter Breen, executive director of the Thomas More Society.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read the Thomas More Society’s letter to the Illinois General Assembly.