In an editorial, the Tribune said, “The Senate passed the measure Thursday, 34-21. We urge the House to finish the job.”
Allowing same-sex couples to wed under the law would not devalue traditional marriage. It would affirm the bedrock values that underlie and sustain such unions.
Marriage promotes stable families, safeguards the interests of children and rewards committed relationships.
Recognizing same-sex marriages demonstrates respect for personal freedoms and keeps government out of the intimate affairs of citizens. More people in same-sex relationships are adopting or giving birth to children; this provides the security of a legal commitment for those children. It’s the fair thing to do.
It’s also smart politics. Support for gay marriage has been building steadily: A 1996 Gallup poll found 27 percent of Americans in favor of allowing same-sex couples to wed; now it’s at 50 percent with a bullet, since the strongest support comes from younger voters.
Public opinion is shifting with remarkable speed.
Political analysts called the Tribune‘s position on same-sex marriage noteworthy given the paper’s conservative background; in 2008, the Tribune endorsed then-Sen. Barack Obama for President, its first endorsement of a Democrat for President in about 150 years.
If the bill makes it to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk, Illinois would become the 10th state in the nation to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.
Quinn, a supporter of marriage equality, applauded the Senate passage on Thursday, and pledged to sign the “historic” bill.