The Illinois chapter of the NAACP has
endorsed gay marriage in Illinois.
A bill which seeks to make Illinois the
10th state to legalize such unions awaits a vote in the
House after passage in the Senate.
Lobbying efforts from opponents and
supporters ramped up this week as lawmakers returned to Springfield
after a two-week break.
In making the endorsement, NAACP
Illinois State Conference President George P. Mitchell pointed to the
organization's long history fighting for civil rights.
“The NAACP was founded 104 years ago
in response to the continuing horrific practice of lynching and the
1908 race riot in Springfield.”
“While the nature of the struggle may
change, our bedrock commitment to civil rights and freedom never will
and that includes civil marriage equality. The fight for freedom and
equality encompasses all mankind.”
“We live in a democracy. In our
democracy we have the benefit of a Constitution which defines the
equal rights which we all share and to which we as a nation aspire.
The Fourteenth Amendment to that Constitution says, in part, that no
state 'shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal
protection of the laws' and that becomes a significantly relevant
“Just 50 years ago, many states would
not recognize a marriage between people of different races. Today,
we see marriage equality as a civil rights issue and an extension of
that fight. Marriage equality is just that – the right to be
treated equally in the eyes of the government. What better evidence
than the Fourteenth Amendment.”
“People of good conscience can
disagree on this issue. We deeply respect differences of opinion and
conscience on the religious definition of marriage, and we strongly
affirm the religious freedoms and ceremonial practices of all as
protected by the First Amendment.”
“But, the NAACP will always stand for
full equality under the law.”
Quinn: Gay marriage approval 'very close' in Illinois.)