Through his spokesman, President Obama has issued a statement in support of same-sex marriage in his home state of Illinois.
“While the president does not weigh in on every measure being considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect,” White House spokesman Shin Inouye told the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday.
“As he has said, his personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so. Were the President still in the Illinois State Legislature, he would support this measure that would treat all Illinois couples equally,” Inouye said.
The lead sponsors of the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” state Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), intend to put the measure up for a vote during the upcoming January lame-duck session. The toughest challenge for gay marriage backers will be winning passage in the Illinois House. Prospects for approval in the Illinois Senate–where Obama once served–are brighter.
As noted above, the current bill will be presented during the lame duck session which ends in just a few weeks. When the new legislature is seated, Democrats will hold a super-majority in both chambers.