Illinois, which passed a civil union law a couple of years ago, is poised to allow marriage equality for same-sex couples. Yesterday, the bill passed 61-54 in the Illinois House and has already passed in the state Senate. Governor Pat Quinn has indicated that he will sign the bill into law. The law would go into effect June 1st of next year.
This is a big loss for the New Jersey-headquartered National Organization for Marriage, which has involved itself in advocating against the Illinois law.
It's also a big loss for some pretty vocal, prominent Illinois-based anti-gay voices, who are among some of the most virulent in the nation. Laurie Higgins' Illinois Family Institute has been monitored by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Right Wing Watch for, among other things, comparing homosexuality to Nazisim.
And, of course, Peter LaBarbera's organization Americans for Truth [sic] About Homosexuality is headquartered in Naperville, Illinois. LaBarbera has also been monitored by the Southern Poverty Law Center and has been a notorious, vocal opponent of LGBT rights for at least the past 20 years. [Update: LaBarbera tweeted his reaction to yesterday's news: "Arrogance of Liberals: #Illinois becomes 15th state to defy God by creating legal "marriage" based on the perversion of homosexuality. #tcot." -- Just putting LaBarbera's note in here for the historical record, for when Team Anti-Equality tries to whitewash the bigoted history of their movement.]
How sad for them that they're on the wrong side of history and so damn self-righteous and unapologetic about it. When same-sex couples won equality through the courts, the big comeback of bigots was that judges were imposing their will on "the people" and that it was so tyrannical that it wasn't legislatures that were passing marriage equality laws.
I'm sure a new talking point will be how awful it is that legislatures are imposing their will on "the people" and how it's so awful that every marriage law in the nation isn't decided by a voter referendum. These people just constantly adapt to try to make themselves relevant and enriched by their advocacy.
But, lest you think I end on a sour note, most importantly, congrats to same-sex couples and allies! Time to convert my separate-and-unequal civil union into a marriage! I believe my feelings at this time can best be expressed by a gif of Tina and Amy:
Did you know that studies indicate that you improve your celebration of LGBT-related victories by pressing the "cornify" button in Fannie's Room and watching some magical things happen? I highly recommend it, and bonus points if you know what I'm even talking about.