Same-sex marriage: nuts & bolts

Published 11/08 2013 03:52PM

Updated 11/08 2013 04:00PM

SPRINGFIELD -- The biggest hurdle to making same-sex marriage legal in Illinois has been cleared. The General Assembly approved the bill Tuesday. It's just a signature away from becoming law. WCIA-3's Steve Staeger keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

Governor Quinn says he wants to sign the bill right away, but according to the General Assembly's website, the bill hasn't actually made it to him yet. That will probably happen Wednesday.

Even though the signature's not on the piece of paper, it isn't stopping couples from celebrating.

"It was a lip-biter for me. It really was."

For Lee Korty and Burt Morton, the road to this day was filled with ups and downs.

"It's just been a roller coaster ride that's been really frightening."

They've been together 31 years and, through many of them, they've watched debates like this.

"Real marriage is the building block for human civilization."

"Who am I to judge that they should be illegal? Who is the government to judge that they should be illegal? And for me, that's the reason to support this bill."

The bill the speaker's talking about changes the definition of marriage from and act between a man and woman to an act between two people. It gives same-sex couples the right to marry and all the rights which come with it.

For months, the Illinois House has been stuck, unable to pass the bill which passed the Senate on Valentine's Day. But, this time was different.

"This is about a question you'll face at some point in the future. What did you do when faced with this historic moment?"

Early, it looked like the support wasn't there. Champaign State Representative Naomi Jakobsson (D) was absent, dealing with a family matter. But, she made a special trip to the capitol for the vote and got there during the debate.

Korty and Morton watched as the day they've waited three decades for, finally arrived.

"Growing up gay, you try so hard to demonstrate that you are good enough, you are good enough, you are good enough, and then, finally getting a vote that says, 'yes, yes, you are okay.'"

As part of a deal to get enough votes, the House had to change the bill's effective date. Once it's signed, it will go into effect June 1, 2014.

Same-sex marriage is not a popular topic for some lawmakers. Representative Naomi Jakobsson was the only lawmaker in our view area to vote yes. Representatives voting no included Republicans Raymond Poe, Adam Brown and Bill Mitchell. Sue Scherer was the only Democrat in our area to vote no.

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