A year after Illinois approved civil
unions for gay and lesbian couples, support for marriage equality has
increased in the state.
According to a poll by Southern
Illinois University's Simon Public Policy Institute, 44 percent of
Illinois voters support legalizing gay marriage. That's an increase
of 10 points from two years ago. Twenty percent remain opposed to
such unions – a decrease of 6 percent.
A large majority (76%) support either
marriage (44%) or civil unions (32%) for gay couples.
“We are thrilled and amazed that such
a huge shift in public opinion related to marriage equality has
occurred in just two years,” Randy Hannig, director of public
policy for Equality Illinois, told Chicago
Pride. “As more and more gay and lesbian people courageously
come out to their friends, family and coworkers, we continue to
witness a change in perception from our straight loved ones who
better understand our fight for true equality.”
A bill which would legalize gay
nuptials in Illinois is backed by openly gay Rep. Greg Harris, a
Democrat from Chicago, and could be considered during a lame-duck
session of the Legislature in January. Governor Pat Quinn has
endorsed the proposed legislation.