Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Equality comes to Illinois

Illinois's legislature has approved a same-sex marriage bill:

The General Assembly today narrowly approved a gay marriage bill, clearing the way for Illinois to become the 15th state to legalize same-sex unions.

The bill got 61 votes in the House, one more than the bare minimum needed to send the measure back to the Senate, which quickly signed off. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has said he would sign the bill into law should it reach his desk.

And once its signed, Illinois will become the 15th US state to recognise marriage equality (and Hawaii is hopefully due in the next couple of weeks).

But the number of easy targets is drying up; thanks to the republicans, many US states have bigot amendments in their state constitutions defining marriage in heterosexist terms (some even ban lesser recognition such as civil unions). So the challenge has to be overturning them. While some of that can be done at a state level, eventually it will require a constitutional challenge to declare such amendments discriminatory. Fortunately the precedents are stacking up for that, and its only a matter of time before it happens.