Illinois House passes marriage equality bill by a vote of 61-54-2. Just before vote, chief sponsor Rep. Greg Harris held up an American flag flown in combat, which was sent to him by a gay soldier serving in Afghanistan who wants upon his return to be able to marry the man he loves. Beautiful.
Congrats to all who worked toward this moment, including our old friend Rick Garcia. We can only imagine how sweet this moment is.
Chicago Sun-Times reports:
“This is huge,” President Barack Obama tweeted. “The Illinois House just passed marriage equality.”
When the historic roll call on the bill was finalized, cheers from the crowded House galleries erupted and its main sponsor, state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), was swarmed by fellow House members who supported his cause.
“This bill will give them a better future,” Harris said in a steady voice, referring to same-sex couples across the state. “It’ll help families to show their love and commitment to each other and give all families a chance to live as full and equal citizens in the greatest country on the face of the earth.”
House Speaker Michael J. Madigan was one of the final speakers in the debate, giving the bill his blessing, pledging to vote yes and quoting Pope Francis’ famed “Who am I to judge remark.”
Signalling his evolution on the issue, the powerful Southwest Side Democrat invited supporters of same-sex marriage to witness the historic vote from his box in the House gallery.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel tweeted his reaction: “With one vote, countless couples will be acknowledged for what they are under the law – families just like everyone else. Great day!”
Update: Rick Garcia just reported that SB-10 just passed the state Senate. Now to Gov. Quinn's desk.