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Illinois Lawmakers approved Civil Union legislation

December 1, 2010

State of Illinois

Illinois lawmakers on Wednesday approved legislation allowing civil unions in this state, and the governor has indicated he will sign it, making Illinois one of only a handful of states to grant to same-sex couples a broad array of legal rights and responsibilities similar to those of marriage.

Advocates of the legislation, who had pressed the matter for years, pointed to the outcome as a sign that acceptance of gay men and lesbians is growing and not only on the coasts.

“Sober, clear-minded, cautious Midwesterners are taking this action,” said Rick Garcia of Equality Illinois, a gay-rights group.

via Civil Unions Approved in Illinois – NYTimes.com.

Of the almost 30 Black legislators in the Illinois General Assembly, State Sen. James Meeks, the Chicago mayoral candidate and outspoken anti-gay mega-church pastor, was one of only two to vote NO on SB1716, the historic civil unions legislation.

“I believe in the traditional definition of marriage, between a man and a woman,” says the pastor, who has called homosexuality “an evil sickness”. “A vote of this much magnitude … probably should have been put to the ballot or a referendum.”

via Rod 2.0:Beta: WATCH: Anti-Gay Rev. James Meeks Explains NO Vote on Civil Unions.