Local Couple Reacts to Gay Marriage Vote in IL Senate

By: Jessica Geraci Email
By: Jessica Geraci Email

ROSCOE (WIFR) -- Supporters of same sex marriage in Illinois won a major battle this week when the state Senate approved a marriage equality bill. However, the measure may not have enough backing to pass in the House.

One local couple hopes more lawmakers will get on board to approve gay marriage. Jestine Cervara and Karla Zapata have been planning a civil union ceremony for months. The couple hopes by the time summer rolls around, they'll be able to call that ceremony a wedding. The pair met online two years ago when civil unions weren't even legal in Illinois. Both believe the state is moving in the right direction to grant equal rights to same sex couples. They say if more states get on board, the federal government will follow suit.

“We had thought about even driving to Iowa because Iowa allows gay marriage but we wanted to do something where all our family could come. My family is flying in so if we have to do a civil union, that’s what we'll do but a marriage, we’d much rather have that. It would give us a lot more opportunities in the future,” says Jestine Cervara.

“It doesn’t matter to us what a piece of paper says, but it does matter if later on we can file taxes together or visit one another in the hospital when we get sick, or adopt, all of that does matter to us,” says Karla Zapata.

At the beginning of January, seventeen hundred faith communities, including the Catholic Church and the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, sent a letter to lawmakers opposing gay marriage. Locally, State Representatives Jim Sacia and John Cabello say they'd vote no on the measure if and when it does come before the House. It isn't clear when a bill on gay marriage might come up in the house. Governor Pat Quinn has said he would sign the bill into law if it landed on his desk.

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