Rain or Shine, the Time for Marriage in Illinois is Now
Last week, nearly five-thousand supporters of The Illinois Marriage Bill – SB 10 – descended upon Springfield, the Illinois state capitol. The Illinois March for Marriage Equality brought together many families and organizations, both local and national to urge our legislators to call the marriage bill for a vote. Among these organizations and supporters was Lambda Legal.
With a packed bus of nearly fifty-five staff persons, volunteers, and community members, Lambda Legal joined the steady stream of buses that poured into the capitol on a rainy October afternoon. With just nine days remaining to pass SB-10 - the time to rally our troops and stand together with a unified voice was heard loud and clear.
As I stood in the rain with my colleagues, peers, and friends, I began to feel like I was at a reunion of sorts. Over the course of this campaign, scores of people have volunteered at a phone bank, canvassed on the streets, attended rallies, or just very eagerly held our ILove posters or wore our t-shirts – and on October 22nd, we were all there, together.
Throughout this campaign, organizers and volunteers alike have articulated their own answer to the question, “Why do we need marriage in Illinois now?” Personally, meeting so many courageous same-sex couples has helped shape my thoughts. Family, as we define it for ourselves, is my answer to that question. Our families, like our brothers and sisters in the larger LGBT movement, are all unique, but the thing that connects us is our desire to make our own lives, affirm our own experiences, and love the family that we have chosen.
So, as I stood on the soaked steps of the capitol building looking over the sea of purple signs reading “Love is Love: Equal Marriage NOW”, I felt hopeful. Despite the many obstacles along the way, we have not lost sight of our common goal to enfranchise our LGBT families, as we define them. We were a united front of (very wet) Illinoisans who simply could no longer wait for the freedom to marry.
Rain or shine, marriage for same-sex couples in Illinois will become a reality. On that day, when the clouds break and the light shines through, we might even catch a rainbow.
If you would like to help us in our efforts toward winning the freedom to marry in Illinois during these very important remaining 9 days, please join Lambda Legal for a phone bank on 10/30, sign our electronic petition, or visit Illinoisunites.org for more information. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be a part of history.