Today the Illinois Senate voted to approve civil unions. Gov. Quinn is set to sign them, and by next year, my LGBT friends and family will be able to enter into civil unions as committed couples.
However, my state senator, Matt Murphy, voted no. I can't say I was surprised, although I did call his office on behalf of Dave and I to support the bill. Here's the e-mail I sent him this afternoon.
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Today I was overjoyed to hear that my LGBT friends and family will soon be able to enter into civil unions to protect their families and rights. This measure is the least that Illinois can do to protect its families and minorities. Yet when I saw the roster of votes on the issue in the Senate, my husband and I were disappointed and disgusted to see that you voted "no" on the bill. There is no excuse for the government to discriminate on the basis of gender or sexual orientation, and to deny gay couples any of the rights that straight married couples have by law is nothing less than hateful.
How can you deny a committed couple the right to hospital visitation rights? How can you deny committed couples the right to inherit each other's possessions? How can you deny a committed couple the right to make medical decisions on behalf of a dying partner?
Your vote was insulting to every LGBT person in the district that you represent and also to me, who supports LGBT couples' rights. I hope this vote comes back to haunt you, and I hope that you will eventually see that (1) same-sex couples deserve rights, and (2) this bill benefits Illinois families in very real ways.
Shame on you and the rest of the senators who voted no.
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