Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has stated that legalizing gay marriage is his No. 3 legislative priority — behind only pension reform and a Chicago casino.
Longtime Chicago Sun Times city hall reporter Fran Spielman wrote that Emanuel also said he plans to get “very involved” in passing a gay marriage bill in Illinois, apparently during the next legislative session in Springfield.
“Although the state of Illinois now has civil unions, the time for marriage equality is now. The time is right, and the time is here,” Emanuel reportedly said.
“While Illinois led the way nationwide with civil unions, it is time now that we take the next step, which I said when we had a ceremony in Millennium Park. This is the first step toward marriage equality, and I hope that we will take that step and I will lead an effort,” he added.
Currently in the Midwest, only Iowa permits same-sex marriage – the result of a unanimous 2009 Supreme Court ruling finding that banning marriage equality violated the state’s constitution.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed civil unions into law on Jan. 31, 2011. Wisconsin has a limited domestic partner registry that the state’s Republican-controlled government would like to eliminate.