The leader of the 20-member Illinois
Legislative Black Caucus has endorsed a bill which seeks to legalize
gay marriage in Illinois.
On Tuesday, Rep. Ken Dunkin signed on
as a co-sponsor of the measure.
“For me, this is about equality and
equal treatment under the law,” Dunkin
said in a statement announcing his endorsement. “I have always
believed that discrimination is wrong, no matter whom it targets.”
“The families in my district include
gay and lesbian parents who are raising children, just waiting for
the state of Illinois to treat them with the respect and dignity they
deserve. Those families can no longer be regarded as separate and
unequal. I support this legislation because I believe it will help
us move our state forward and provide equal protection under the law
for all families.”
The Illinois Senate approved the
measure in February.
Dunkin, who voted in favor of the
state's civil unions law in 2011, said in a radio interview that the
legislation remained 12 votes short of passage in the House.
“I also think there's a tremendous
momentum in favor of its passage,” Dunkin said on WBEZ's Afternoon
Shift. “I think we should have ran the bill earlier in the
year, but we are where we are. And irrespective of the opposition,
and the opposition is real and large; certainly in the black church,
it's tremendous. But we are poised to really do the right thing,