The possibility of legalizing same sex marriage in the state of Illinois is becoming more of a reality. On Valentines Day, the Senate approved a bill that would allow same-sex marriage in the state. A house committee is expected to consider it Tuesday.
The bill already has the approval of several religious leaders, and recently gained support of another group.
Twenty-three Latino leaders sent an open letter to lawmakers, wishing to see gay marriage legalized in the state. Saying 'Gay marriage in Illinois would strengthen families.'
"In the Latino community, family is extremely important. And we're not talking about immediate family, blood relatives, we're talking about community," says Rockford resident, Rudy Valdez. Valdez agrees with these leaders. He too hopes to see same sex marriage legalized in Illinois. "Same sex marriage is really allowing people to pursue happiness, being treated the same."
Former Chicago City Clerk Miguel Del Valle, and Latino Policy Forum Executive Director Sylvia Puente are two of the leaders behind the letter.
But Valdez notes, these leaders do not necessarily represent the entire Latino population in Illinois. "It's really just the viewpoint of one person, but some of those leaders have a big following, and so they could be speaking for, they're speaking for themselves, however, they're probably not isolated in their thoughts."
Those who are opposed to the idea worry it will diminish the sanctity of marriage, and endanger religious freedom.
If the bill passes, Governor Pat Quinn says he plans on signing it into law. Making Illinois the 10th state to allow same sex marriage.
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