Illinois Representative LaShawn Ford
has endorsed a gay marriage bill before the Illinois House.
After passage in the Senate on
Valentine's Day, the bill, which would make Illinois the 13th
state to legalize such unions, stalled in the House.
Supporters have only 3 days left before
the end of the regular legislative session to move the bill through
the House and on to Governor Pat Quinn's desk, who has pledged his
Ford, a previously undecided Democrat,
called marriage equality “historic” in pledging his support.
“When you think about the moral
issue, this is about advancing opportunity, the opportunity for all
people to pursue life, liberty and happiness. As Democrats we are
about opportunity, about including people, not excluding,” said
Ford, who two years earlier voted for the state's civil unions
“What really turns me is how the gay
and lesbian community has taken a page from the Civil Rights
Movement. I respect the hard work, the tenacity, the fortitude, the
organization of the gay community in pursuing this. This should
remind the African-American community what hard work [on political
issues] does. This will go down in history as an example of how to
effect change in the world.”