SPRINGFIELD - The president most associated with illicit sexual behavior - former President Bill Clinton - showed no hesitation in encouraging marriage Tuesday when he issued a statement to the Illinois General Assembly to legalize same sex marriage. HB 10 awaits Illinois House passage as the last obstacle before going to Governor Quinn, who has promised to sign the bill into law.
In his statement, Clinton didn't mince words like he did in 1999 where he said, "It depends on what your definition of 'is' is," and he cited Illinois' favorite son Abraham Lincoln:
Our nation's permanent mission is to form a ‘more perfect union’ - deepening the meaning of freedom, broadening the reach of opportunity, strengthening the bonds of community. That mission has inspired and empowered us to extend rights to people previously denied them. Every time we have done that, it has strengthened our nation.
Now we should do it again, in Illinois, with marriage equality. Since the days of Abraham Lincoln, Illinois has stood for the proposition that all citizens should be treated equally under the law. Lincoln himself came to Springfield in search of opportunity, and he dedicated his life to securing equal opportunity for all citizens. I believe that for Illinois and for our nation as a whole, in the 21st century that must include marriage equality.
Clinton did not address religious liberties of private citizens that may be infringed upon with the passage of the law. The Democrat super-majority in the Illinois House has thus far been unable to gather the votes needed to pass the legislation with a simple majority vote.