Illinois State Rep. Deb Mell on Friday
discussed the mundane details of her marriage to another woman in an
emotional plea for a future vote on a gay marriage bill.
The 44-year-old Mell addressed
colleagues after an emotional Rep. Greg Harris, the bill's champion
in the chamber, announced at the 11th hour that he was
postponing a vote on the measure already approved by the Senate until
the chamber reconvenes in the fall.
House postpones vote on gay marriage.)
Mell, a strong supporter of marriage
equality who in 2004 was arrested at the Cook County clerk's office
protesting the state's law which prohibits two members of the same
sex from receiving a marriage license, married her wife Christin
Baker in Iowa nearly two years ago.
“There's been a lot of talk about gay
marriage in this chamber these last few months and I have one.
Christin and I went to Iowa and we were legally married there 20
months ago,” Mell told colleagues.
“Now there's been some hurtful and
mean things said about our marriage. Says it would cause the
destruction of society, that we are harmful to children, they say we
are abnormal and immoral. And that's some of the nicer things that
they've said about us.”
Mell explained that her marriage was
rather mundane: Mell makes the coffee during the week, the couple
likes to run together, they worship at a church in downtown Chicago
and watch Downton Abbey on Sundays. She added that her wife
was by her side when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“And today, sometimes, I'm still in a
little bit of pain and I get down and I get scared that the cancer is
going to come back and Christin holds my hands and tells me how we
are going to grow up and be little old ladies together.”
“I love my wife. And this is our
marriage. This is our gay marriage, our same-sex marriage, our
She urged colleagues to “hit the
green button” for love and equality when the legislation comes up
for a vote in November. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)