Mayor of Chicago pens op-ed urging lawmakers to legalize gay marriage in Illinois

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By Anna Peirano

Rahm Emanuel, current Mayor of Chicago and former White House Chief of Staff, wrote an op-ed published on Tuesday in the Chicago Sun-Times urging lawmakers in the state of Illinois to legalize same-sex marriage. 

“Last week’s election continued America’s great history of expanding opportunity and equality,” wrote Emmanuel. “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.”

“The City of Chicago and the State of Illinois have a special place in our nation’s history as a leader in our nation’s struggle to bring equality to all,” he continues. “Marriage equality is the next step in our nation’s march forward. Illinois must lead the way.”

In a press conference the same day, Emanuel said, “The time for marriage equality is now. The time is right and the time is here.” 

Illinois legalized civil unions for same-sex couples last year. 

As Mayor, Emanuel has lobbied for civil unions in Illinois. While in Congress and during his time within the Obama administration, he pushed for the end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and helped expand health care benefits for same-sex couples.

Emanuel is not alone in his fight for marriage equality. The state legislature is now holds a veto-proof Democratic majority in both the state House and Senate. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has also stated his support for marriage equality. 

State Representative Greg Harris, who was the chief sponsor of Illinois’ marriage equality bill, told the Chicago Sun-Times that he and other proponents of the measure may bring up the bill during the legislature’s January session, according to the Huffington Post. 

Read Emanuel’s original op-ed here

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