The next state to have a big battle over marriage equality appears to be Illinois, where a bill has been submitted to legalize and recognize same-sex marriages. And in an incredible turn of events, the leader of the Illinois GOP is supporting the bill. This is the chair of the state party, Pat Brady:
“More and more Americans understand that if two people want to make a lifelong commitment to each other, government should not stand in their way,” Brady said.
“Giving gay and lesbian couples the freedom to get married honors the best conservative principles. It strengthens families and reinforces a key Republican value – that the law should treat all citizens equally.”
“Importantly, the pending legislation would protect the freedom of religion,” Brady added. “No church or religious organization would ever be required to perform a union with which it disagrees.”
This is an important development. For those of us who fight for civil rights, change never happens fast enough. But when you look at the history of such battles, the change on marriage equality is happening with remarkable speed. It’s been less than ten years since the Goodridge decision came down in Massachusetts, which is what brought the issue to the fore, and the shift in public opinion has been astonishing.