Marcia's Law: Equality Illinois

Marcia Prichason

Of equality – As if it harm’d me, giving others the same chances and rights as myself – As if it were not indispensable to my own rights that others possess the same.
Walt Whitman

Dear Readers,
This is a call to action!

HB 5170, The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, sponsored by Representatives Greg Harris (13th District), Deborah Mell (40th District), Rep. Kelly M. Cassidy (14th District) and Ann Williams (11th District) is currently making its way through the Illinois House of Representatives. If you don’t think that marriage equality in the State of Illinois is important, consider this:

– Weddings are big business. There were over 2,077,000 weddings in the United States (www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/divorce.htm) last year representing an average cost per wedding of $26,542 (www.costofwedding.com). That’s about 5 billion dollars being pumped into the economy every year on weddings.

Weddings by resident Illinois couples alone will generate between $39 and $72 million over 3 years (The Williams Institute).

In states where equality is the law:
— Religions are still freely practiced
— Children are raised without any statistical evidence that harm is being inflicted upon them
— Divorce rates are amongst the lowest in the country (www.exgaywatch.com/wp/2006/07/lowest-divorce)

A recent Gallup Poll indicates that over 69% of Americans are now in favor of marriage equality; for the first time in history, a majority of the population actively favors gay marriage.

The economic, social, and emotional benefits of legalizing LGBT marriages are well documented. Legalizing marriage in this state, where civil unions are already the law as of June 1, 2011, will provide loving couples in committed relationships full access to the over 2,000 federal benefits already available to their heterosexual counterparts.

Eight states have already legalized marriage for LGBT couples. It is possible to make Illinois the ninth, but your support is crucial in making it happen.

The time for action is now! In Springfield on April 25th, PFLAG (http://www.pflag.org/) and Equality Illinois (www.eqil.org) will be joining thousands of others for “Lobby Day.” Add your voice to theirs. Join them in person; send an e-mail or letter; or, make a phone call to your Illinois legislator. Your voice CAN make a difference. Please do it today by doing the following:

1. Copy and paste this “call for action” into your browser.
2. Copy and paste it into a blank document
3. Mail it to your legislator, or call your legislator and quote freely from this letter.

To find out who your legislators are and send your e-mail, letter, or make your call today, click on the link below: District/Official Search – By Address – Illinois State Board of Elections

Equality means full protection under the law. Do it for yourself, and do it for your loved ones…But Do It Today!

…And I’m just a mom who loves her son…

FOX Chicago Sunday: State Rep. Kelly Cassidy on Same-Sex Marriage: MyFoxCHICAGO.com

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