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Rahm Emanuel: Gay marriage my third priority for Illinois Legislature

By Tony Merevick| Chicago Phoenix
Friday, November 16, 2012

Mayor Rahm Emanuel ranked gay marriage No. 3 on his list of priorities for the State Legislature Tuesday, placing it behind pension reform and approving a Chicago casino, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.

In addition, Emanuel said he would get “very involved” with leaders in Springfield in passing a gay marriage bill.

First and second on the mayor’s wish list: retirement security through pension reform and building a new casino in Chicago that would bring in tax revenue for public schools.

Rahm Emanuel

“Third, I will continue to advocate that we also pass marriage equality and end the discrimination on the books. Although the state of Illinois now has civil unions, the time for marriage equality is now. The time is right, and the time is here,” the mayor said, according to the paper.

A civil unions bill was passed in late 2010 and signed into law in June 2011, allowing Illinois same-sex couples much of the same state-level benefits as married couples.

Emanuel went on to say that he has been in touch with both Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and Rep. Deb Mell (D-Chicago), two openly-gay lawmakers who plan to spearhead legislation that would legalize gay marriage in Illinois. Harris introduced a marriage equality bill in the General Assembly in Frebruary, but it has since been stuck in the House Rules Committee.

The lawmaker signaled approval of the mayor’s commitment to equality.

Harris and Mell have recently said that they won’t submit a gay marriage bill in the General Assembly until they know they’ve got enough votes to pass it — 60 in the House and 30 in the Senate.

This morning, an op-ed by Emanuel appeared in Sun-Times in which he elaborated on his support for gay and lesbian couples’ right to marry.

“Today, we must take the next step on that journey by affording the opportunity to marry to all Americans — and we can continue that march by quickly enacting marriage equality here in Illinois,” he wrote. “The City of Chicago and the State of Illinois have a special place in our nation’s history as leader in our nation’s struggle to equality to all. Marriage equality is the next step in our nation’s march forward. Illinois must lead the way.”

And Monday night, Emanuel honored new inductees into the Chicago Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame.

© Chicago Phoenix. Reprinted by permission.

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9 more reader comments:

  1. Well at lest it a priority.

    Posted on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 7:52pm
  2. Equality should be number One Rahm!

    Posted on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 7:59pm
  3. 3rd!?

    Posted on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 8:00pm
  4. and the first two are higher taxes and fucking gun owners up by not punishing the ones really responsible coughs apart of the LGBT community and a firearm owner~

    Posted on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 8:42pm
  5. anualu go mr. Emanual sir dadddy i think to many d’s o hell who givs a

    Posted on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 8:54pm
  6. Not bad, at least is on the top 3. I wish they would stop calling it Gay Marriage, it’s Marriage Equality

    Posted on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 8:59pm
  7. I totally agree, Anna, though I have thought for years, since my mid-teens,that it is about so much more than Marriage Equality: its about across the board American Citizen Rights. Marriage is only one small part of the package.Mr. Emanuel is to be applauded for his stand on this issue, but as mayor of Chicago,even as mayor of Chicago, his influence and power over the State of Illinois legislature, though considerable as mayor of the State’s largest metro area and the State’s economic and social powerhouse, is not absolute.

    Posted on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 10:34pm
  8. It sucks you cant message anyone here. Been trying to share our story. Gay teen Bullying and Gay Teen Suicide movie being made in ILLINOIS.

    Posted on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 10:47pm
  9. Civil/human rights must come first in a list of priorities, period. Everything else comes second. This is not only about gays being allowed to marry who they want, it’s another step toward equality for everybody on this planet.

    Posted on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 2:57am