Yesterday, Illinois State representatives submitted a marriage equality bill to the Illinois General Assembly which would establish the legality of marriage for same-sex couples.
Representatives Greg Harris, Deb Mell, and Kelly Cassidy introduced the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.
In a state where civil unions are legal, the act would improve upon the laws already in place, and allow benefits such as the ability to file taxes jointly, hospital visitation between spouses, and any other rights afforded to heterosexual couples.
Those in support of the legislation said that the bill may not pass the first time around but is an important first step.
“We commend these leaders for taking yet another step towards full equality for lesbian and gay families in Illinois, and we are grateful to them for their leadership,” says LGBT organization Equality Illinois in a public statement. “This is just the beginning: the road to marriage equality is sure to be long, but it is one that we must travel together.”