As the marriage equality campaign continues to pick up speed in Illinois, a coalition of LGBT rights and progressive groups has formed. Via press release:
In the wake of the announcement by key legislators that they will seek passage of an Illinois marriage equality bill in January 2013, a broad range of organizations have joined to form a new coalition, called Illinois Unites for Marriage, organizers said Thursday. The coalition will be wholly focused on securing legislation giving same-sex couples the freedom to marry in early 2013. Illinois Unites brings together a diverse group of individuals and organizations from across Illinois, including business groups, labor, faith organizations, Republicans, Democrats and grassroots supporters. The coalition is being organized by Equality Illinois, Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois.
“We are uniting to urge members of the Illinois General Assembly to let all Illinoisans express their love and life-long commitment through civil marriage,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest and largest LGBT advocacy organization. “The momentum is undeniable — allowing same-sex couples to marry is the right thing for Illinois,” said Jim Bennett, Regional Director of Lambda Legal. “It’s best for our state that our government treat all families with equity and respect. Nine other states now have full marriage equality. It’s time for Illinois to act.”
Earlier this week a group of anti-gay religious and hate groups formed a similar coalition to fight the Illinois marriage bill.