SPRINGFIELD - State Rep. Tom Morrison (R-Arlington Heights) and State Rep. David Reis (R-Ste. Marie) took a Speaker-defiant step last Thursday, when they filed House Joint Resolution 95 in the Illinois House.
HJR 95 encourages the Illinois General Assembly to adopt a Constitutional Amendment 50 and allow Illinois voters to vote on the topic in the 2014 Illinois General Election. The proposal also calls for all county clerks to be notified of the state assembly's intention to reflect the people's will on the definition of marriage, rather than leave the matter in the hands of the judicial branch.
Rep. Reis encouraged Illinoisans concerned about upholding the current state's definition of marriage to call their lawmakers and encourage them to sign on as co-sponsors and commit to supporting the resolution.
“All concerned residents of the state that want Illinois to uphold its laws and safeguard the institution of marriage are encouraged to call their state representatives and senators and ask them to support an amendment to the Illinois Constitution clearly defining marriage," Reis said. "If we don’t, this issue might very well get decided in the courts.”
House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), who determines any House legislation's progress, has not been pressured to allow Rep. Reis's marriage amendment proposal to move from its introduction phase. Madigan has not allowed HJRCA 50 to be taken up in House Rules Committee since Rep Reis first introduced it in July 2012, nor has Madigan allowed HJRCA 50 to be assigned to a House committee for consideration.
The wording of Morrison and Reis' House Joint Resolution 95 urging consideration of HJRCA 50 is below:
House Joint Resolution 90
WHEREAS, Since being admitted into the Union in 1818, The State of Illinois has only recognized marriages between one man and one woman; and
WHEREAS, The Illinois Constitution of 1970, based on its text, history and interpretation, does not confer any right to enter into a same-sex marriage, but only a right to enter into an opposite-sex marriage; and
WHEREAS, In 1996, the Illinois General Assembly amended the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to make explicit what has always been implicit in our marriage laws: that marriage is a relationship that may exist only between one man and one woman (Section 201), to prohibit same-sex marriages (Section 212(a)(5)), and to state that a marriage between 2 persons of the same sex is "contrary to the public policy of this State" (Section 213.1); and
WHEREAS, Federal law recognizes and provides the benefits of marriage only to those marriages between a man and a woman; and
WHEREAS, For thousands of years, religious faiths have recognized only marriages between one man and one woman; and
WHEREAS, By popular vote, 30 states have amended their constitutions to reserve marriage as a relationship that may exist only between a man and a woman and to prohibit recognition of same-sex marriages; and
WHEREAS, Two lawsuits have been filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County challenging, under the Illinois Constitution, the prohibition of same-sex marriage in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act: Darby, et al. vs. David Orr, in his official capacity as Cook County Clerk, Circuit Court of Cook County, No. 12 CH 19718; and Lazaro, et al. vs. David Orr, in his official capacity as Cook County Clerk, Circuit Court of Cook County, No. 12 CH 19719; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, THE SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that we show our support for the Illinois laws reserving the institution of marriage to one man and one woman; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we oppose any efforts to extend the institution of marriage to 2 individuals of the same sex, whether by statute or by court decision; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we urge the members of the General Assembly, acting under their authority under Article XIV, Section 2 of the Illinois Constitution, to adopt House Joint Resolution - Constitutional Amendment 50, an amendment to the Illinois Constitution stating that "Only a marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in Illinois", which if adopted would be on the ballot at the 2014 General Election; and be it further
RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be delivered to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, Cook County Clerk David Orr, and all other County Clerks and State's Attorneys in the State of Illinois.