Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



Quinn signs marriage equality bill into law
by Matt Simonette

This article shared 6 times since Wed Nov 20, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

      More Photos

More than 2,000 members of the LGBT community, as well as their friends, families and allies, gathered at the UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago) Forum Nov. 20 to watch Gov. Pat Quinn sign SB10 into law, bringing marriage equality to Illinois effective June 1, 2014.

Illinois is now officially the 16th U.S. state to have marriage equality.

In a nod to the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, which fell the day before, Quinn signed the historic legislation on one of Abraham Lincoln's desks, which was shipped in from Springfield for the occasion.

Quinn shared the stage with numerous political allies, among them Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, House Speaker Michael Madigan, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Secretary of State Jesse White, State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Also present were state Rep. Greg Harris and state Sen. Heather Steans, who sponsored SB10 in their respective houses.

After a moment of silence to remember Illinoisans who were lost in the deadly tornadoes Nov. 17, Quinn introduced his colleagues.

Attorney General Madigan brandished a necklace belonging to the late politician Dawn Clark Netsch, saying that SB10 ushered in a "new proud chapter for the state." But she added that the new era would likely be fraught with work. "It is one thing to change the law, and another thing to change minds," Madigan said.

Topinka spoke to the political bipartisanship that was necessary to bring about SB10's passage. "It takes both parties to make something happen, and when we work together, look what we can do," she said, before naming the Republican legislators who crossed party lines to vote for marriage equality.

Illinois politicians sometimes take "a lot of guff, and sometimes it's well-deserved," Topinka added. "But I think history will show that on this one we were right."

Topinka also joked that she would be available as a flower girl for weddings, drawing loud applause from the crowd.

Simon and White also spoke of the importance of the bill's passage. "It's time to stop planning rallies and start planning weddings," Simon said.

White urged the LGBT community to keep moving forward, "for today is a day to rejoice."

Preckwinkle called marriage equality "the civil-rights issue of our time—this is an issue of basic human rights. …Throughout our nation's history, nothing worth fighting for has been easy."

She added that while many on the stage would be remembered for their votes and support for marriage equality, there were many more "whose names will never appear in history books," and thanked supporters and activists who fought on behalf of the legislation.

Emanuel said that in the wake of the SB10, the differences between "gay marriage" and "straight marriage" would be blurred, and there would only be a single vision of marriage between loving people. He spoke of the mass civil union ceremony he oversaw in the early days of his administration, and said he was glad those 33 couples would soon be able to enjoy the full benefits of marriage.

"We realized that to have a forward looking state, we can't have backward looking laws," Emanuel said.

Speaker Madigan gave only a few brief remarks, mainly to thank Steans and Harris. Quinn jokingly thanked Madigan for his "long and passionate speech," adding, "Sometimes the great speeches aren't eternal."

Steans extended thanks to Senate President John Cullerton for his help in stewarding SB10. It was Cullerton's idea, she said, to schedule a vote on Valentine's Day. "I had no idea that he was such a romantic, besides such a class-act guy."

"It is your door knocking, your phone calls, your March on Springfield, your conversations with family, friends and legislators, your donated time and money, your perseverance that brought us to this moment today. …My husband, Leo, and our two kids are here with me today. We're celebrating that all families can now enjoy the rights, the benefits, the obligations, the squabbles, the dog walks to the beach—all those things that come with marriage," Steans said.

When Harris came to the podium, he remarked that the framers of the Constitution understood that liberty and equality are "not destinations, but journeys. Since that time men and women have struggled to take step after step on that journey to ensure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."

He went on to thank several religious leaders across the state who vocally supported SB10 as well as former state GOP Chairman Pat Brady. "They stood up for marriage, because marriage is a family value," Harris said, also thanking families willing to publicly disclose their stories on behalf of marriage equality, such as Jim Darby and Patrick Bova.

Harris also expressed his gratitude to state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, who had long championed SB10 but was unable to attend the signing because of her mother's death, and state Rep. Naomi Jakobson, who left her gravely ill son's bedside in order to cast her vote on SB10. Her son passed away shortly before she returned.

"Naomi and Kelly—today is for you and your families, and all of the loving families of our state," Harris said.

Darby and Bova came to the podium next. "Today is the day we can look back at our five decades together and finally feel like newlyweds," Bova said. The couple has long wanted to arrange for Bova to be buried alongside Darby at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Ill.

"This is not a small privilege, a resting place for servicemembers," Bova said. "We have never wanted special rights—we always wanted to be treated with the honor and respect as afforded anyone else who served this country."

Just before signing the bill, Quinn closed by mentioning Abraham Lincoln and noting the Gettysburg Address anniversary. The speech spoke not just to audiences in 1863, but is still relevant now, Quinn said.

He called the SB10 signing a "triumph of democracy, a triumph of government of the people, and (a demonstration that) that we believe in liberty and equality—and we're making sure that it is part of our law."

"I think we understand in our state, that part of our unfinished business is to help other states in the United States of America achieve marriage equality," Quinn said.

The Nov. 20 ceremony also featured performances by Artemis Singers, Chicago Gay Men's Chorus and Sami Grisafe.

After the event, members of the Illinois Unites for Marriage coalition, which John Kohlhepp headed, gathered at the Chicago Firehouse Restaurant. Also speaking to that crowd were finance co-chairs Laura Ricketts and Ray Koenig, Lambda Legal Midwest Director Jim Bennett and Harris.

Anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera of Americans for the Truth About Homosexuality protested the event.

See related story at the link: .


Additional photos by Hal Baim at the link: .

Photo spread by Tim Carroll at the link: .


Livestream video archived link: .

Videos by Tracy Baim and Jean Albright:

Patrick Bova and Jim Darby at Illinois marriage bill signing 11-20-13 .

Illinois marriage equality bill signing 11-20-2013 .

Illinois marriage equality bill signing 11-20-13 .

Rep. Greg Harris at marriage equality bill signing 11-20-13 .

This article shared 6 times since Wed Nov 20, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Pope again refuses to bless same-sex marriages 2021-09-18
- Pope Francis told reporters recently on a return flight from Hungary that the Catholic Church is unable to bless same-sex marriages because marriage is a divine sacrament between a man and a woman, per The Advocate. ...

Gay News

Polis marriage marks first same-sex wedding of sitting governor 2021-09-17
- On Sept. 15, Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis wed longtime partner Marlon Reis—marking the first same-sex marriage of a sitting U.S. governor, NPR reported. Polis keeps making history. In 2018, Polis became the first openly gay ...

Gay News

LGBTQ advocates celebrate two Illinois marriage certificate modernization bills 2021-07-27
--From a press release - Trans and non-binary people who were married in Illinois will now be able to obtain marriage certificates that reflect their authentic selves thanks to legislation signed today by Governor JB Pritzker, according to Equality Illinois and ...

Gay News

WORLD Marriage in Chile, Polish website, Toronto news, 'Reclaim Pride' march 2021-07-25
- On July 21, Chile's Senate approved an equal-marriage bill, reported. The regulations were presented during the second government of the socialist Michelle Bachelet (2014-2018) and last June 1, during ...

Gay News

LGBTQ advocates celebrate passage of Illinois marriage certificate name change legislation 2021-05-28
--From a press release - LGBTQ advocates are celebrating passage of state legislation that will provide certainty for individuals requesting that their Illinois marriage certificates reflect a legal name change. HB 2590 is an initiative of Equality Illinois and Chicago House ...

Gay News

LGBT-inclusive marriage-certificate act passes state General Assembly 2021-05-21
--From a press release - May 21. 2021 - In an effort to modernize marriage certificates in Illinois, state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz and state Rep. Ann Williams helped pass The Marriage Certificate Modernization Act through the Illinois General Assembly. The legislation ...

Gay News

Starting May 3, ceremonies in Cook County's downtown Marriage Court can be performed by Zoom 2021-04-30
- CHICAGO (April 30) — Marriage and civil union ceremonies at Cook County's downtown Marriage and Civil Union Court (Marriage Court) may be performed via Zoom videoconference, as well as in person, starting next week, according to ...

Gay News

Illinois Senate passes proposal removing gendered language from marriage certificates 2021-04-21
--From a press release - On April 21, on its third reading, the Illinois Senate passed (by a bipartisan vote of 44-13) a proposal that amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to allow the removal of gendered language ...

Gay News

Russian leader Putin officially bans same-sex marriage 2021-04-08
- On April 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a series of constitutional amendments that, among other things, formally defines marriage as between a man and a woman in the country, The Washington Blade reported. ...

Gay News

Global momentum for marriage equality surges,"Freedom to Marry Global" website created 2021-03-31
--From a press release - April 1st marks twenty years since the Netherlands ended the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage, becoming the first of so far 30 countries worldwide to affirm the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Now, two ...

Gay News

WORLD Landmark ruling, Montreal's Gay Village, acid attack, anti-LGBTQ laws 2021-03-21
- In a landmark ruling, a Japanese court ruled that the government's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, NPR noted. Article 24 of Japan's constitution defines marriage as based on the "mutual consent of both sexes," which ...

Gay News

LETTER The Vatican's words and actions do not echo love 2021-03-18
- The LGBTQA community is responding with shock, anger and frustration at the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith statement concerning same-sex unions. Many in our community can't understand why Pope Francis would allow such a ...

Gay News

Pope Francis documentary 'Francesco' to debut March 26 2021-03-16
- Pope Francis—in the news lately because of the Catholic Church's stance that it cannot bless same-sex unions, adding that it is "not licit" to bless relationships that involve sexual activity outside of marriage—is the subject of ...

Gay News

DignityUSA: Vatican denying same-sex blessings "Exacerbates pain and anger" 2021-03-16
--From a press release - March 15, 2021. DignityUSA, the organization of Catholics working for justice, equality, and full inclusion of LGBTQI people in the church and society, is deeply disappointed by the Vatican's statement unequivocally denying blessings to same-sex coupl ...

Gay News

Vatican won't bless same-sex unions 2021-03-15
- The Catholic Church said it cannot bless same-sex unions, adding that it is "not licit" to bless relationships that involve sexual activity outside of marriage, according to an NBC News item. The Congregation for the Doctrine ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.