Rockford Church Members Join Rally for Marriage Equality in Springfield

By: Jessica Geraci Email
By: Jessica Geraci Email

STATELINE (WIFR) -- Hundreds of supporters of gay marriage in Illinois flood the state capitol to urge the House to pass a bill legalizing same sex marriage.

The rally on Springfield in support of gay marriage brought together neighbors from all across Illinois, including David Kraemer from Rockford. He joined a busload of more than 20 people from the Stateline to urge lawmakers to legalize same sex marriage. Civil unions have been legal in Illinois since 2011.

"I think everyone on the bus, allies and same sex couples across Illinois would just be overjoyed,” says Kraemer, a ministerial intern at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Rockford. “This is it, we get married because we love each other and how great would that be to do that."

The Illinois Senate passed a bill in favor of same sex marriage in the spring; the house has yet to act. It'll take 60 votes to pass, and if it does during this veto session, Governor Pat Quinn told the crowd Tuesday that he'd approve the bill.

“There was a writer who wrote 2 thousand years ago that said love is kind, love is patient, love never fails. We need love to pass the marriage equality bill and I will sign it as quickly as possible,” Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said during the rally.

Kraemer says hearing that makes him hopeful gay marriage will pass by the end of the year.

“The legislature got to see how many people in Illinois are out in support of this, and the fact that we stuck it out in the cold and the rain says something. We’re close, we’re really close," Kraemer said.

Opponents of gay marriage plan to rally in the Capitol on Wednesday. Earlier this year, leaders from more than 1,700 churches and faith communities around Illinois sent a letter to lawmakers urging them to vote no on a gay marriage bill.

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