Illinois Reps. Greg Harris, Deb Mell, and Kelly Cassidy filed a marriage equality bill in Illinois General Assembly this morning, called the Religious Freedom-Marriage Act.
Equality Illinois stated:
“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. This is just the beginning: the road to marriage equality is sure to be long, but it is one that we must travel together.
“In following experiences of thousands of couples in civil unions over the past year, we confirmed what we always suspected to be true: that creating a separate institution to provide substantially the same rights did not add up to full equality under the law. A pharmacist who denied prescription pick-up to the patient’s civil union partner didn’t think it’s the same thing as marriage. A coroner who refused to issue a death certificate to civil union partner survivor did not think that civil unions are the same as marriage. Tax preparers, estate planners, employers and employees do not think that civil unions are the same as marriage. Separate is not equal. And we at Equality Illinois will not rest until gay and lesbian couples in every corner of the state – who are equal in love – are also equal in marriage.”
The bill is listed here:
Synopsis As Introduced
Creates the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. Contains provisions regarding purposes, rules of construction, and severability. Provides that: all laws of this State applicable to marriage apply equally to marriages of same-sex and different-sex couples and their children; parties to a marriage and their children, regardless of whether the marriage is of a same-sex or different-sex couple, have the same benefits, protections, and responsibilities under law; parties to a marriage are included in any definition or use of terms such as “spouse”, “family”, “immediate family”, “dependent”, “next of kin”, “wife”, “husband”, “bride”, “groom”, “wedlock”, and other terms that refer to or denote the spousal relationship, as those terms are used throughout the law, regardless of whether the parties to a marriage are of the same sex or different sexes; and, to the extent laws this State adopt, refer to, or rely upon provisions of federal law as applicable to this State, parties to a marriage of the same sex and their children shall be treated under the law of this State as if federal law recognized the marriages of same-sex couples in the same manner as the law of this State. Amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act by making various changes concerning: parties who may marry; solemnization; prohibited marriages; jurisdiction; and other matters. Amends the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act. Makes various changes and additions regarding recognition of marriages. Authorizes the voluntary conversion of a civil union to a marriage under specified circumstances. Makes other changes.