Chicago mayor and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has thrown his support behind an Illinois bill that would grant same sex couples all the marriage rights now exclusively available to heterosexual couples.
"I’ll push for it because it is consistent with the values base, and the practical values base, that I think is right as a city, as a state and as a country," he said, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The bill, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, was recently introduced to the Illinois House by Reps. Greg Harris, Deborah Mell, and Kelly Cassidy.
Last year, Illinois legalized civil unions for same sex couples, granting them some of the legal rights of married couples, such as for inheritance or hospital visits. But LGBT rights advocates said that civil unions — while being a positive step forward — did not add up to full equality under the law.
“If you have two loving adults, that should actually be held up as a positive, whether it’s male or female, but in this case female-female, male-male,” Emanuel added. “I think that’s proper, and we shouldn’t as a state discriminate.”
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) said he needed to study the issues concerning same sex marriage before he decides whether to support the legislation.
On Wednesday, Washington became the seventh state to allow same sex couples to marry.