Chicago mayoral candidates are joining
in support of an Illinois bill that would recognize gay and lesbian
couples with civil unions.
Lawmakers are expected to take up
openly gay State Representative Greg Harris' bill on Tuesday. The
bill passed out of committee last spring, but lawmakers have yet to
vote on it.
Gery Chico has joined rivals Rahm
Emanuel and Carol Moseley Braun in urging lawmakers to approve the
Pat Quinn has said he wants to sign the bill into law this year.
“This is a civil rights issue,”
Chico, a lawyer and civic leader, told supporters on Sunday, the
Chicago Sun-Times reported. “It's just that easy. And it's
not the end of the line but the road to looking at same-sex
Emanuel, who resigned as White House
chief of staff in September to run for the post after Chicago Mayor
Richard M. Daley announced he wouldn't seek a seventh term, also
supports the legislation and has pledged to lobby lawmakers on behalf
of the bill.
“I think we should be guided by our
hopes and not our fears,” former U.S Senator Braun recently told
MyFoxChicago.com. “This is an issue of fundamental civil rights
At least one candidate is opposed to
the bill, Pentecostal mega-church leader Wilfredo De Jesus.
objecting is the Catholic Church, which said in a statement last
week that the “public understanding of marriage will be negatively
affected by passage of a bill that ignores the natural fact that
sexual complementarity is at the core of marriage.”
If approved, Illinois would join New
Jersey in offering the union. Lawmakers
in Hawaii are also likely to revisit the issue early next year.