Brutally Honest: Congratulations Illinois

Denny Patterson, Senior Editor

So far, it has been a wonderful year in regards to LGBT rights. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is passing through Congress and six states have legalized same-sex marriage – Illinois being the most recent.

When the news broke on Facebook and Twitter, it was a celebratory moment. Hundreds of statuses and posts were congratulating Illinois for crossing over to the right side of history. The Land of Lincoln was victorious in achieving equal rights. Even though this state is corrupt when it comes to politics, I was very proud to be an Illinoisan on Nov. 5. Like Gov. Pat Quinn said in a couple of quotes, “we are setting an example for the rest of the country.”

When legislation first passed through the Senate on Valentine’s Day, no one knew that it would take this long for the bill to pass through the House. Fortunately, enough House members knew that voting yes on this bill was the right thing to do.

As a child, I was told that I will grow up, fall in love and get married – most children are given this speech by their parents. Little did my parents know at that time that I would be fighting for the right to marry.

Yes, marriage crosses my mind every now and then. I know, I should probably find a date first, right? Anyways, I do hope I will fall in love with the right guy, settle down and get married. Millions of LGBT people feel this way. They shouldn’t be deprived from equality.

I know Illinois is going to receive some sort of backlash, just like every other state that has approved same-sex marriage. I just pray to God we won’t have to go through something similar to California’s Proposition 8. And speaking of God, if you do not agree with homosexuality because it’s against your religion, I completely respect that. However, please do not try to shove a Bible down someone else’s throat. I would like to thank my friends who do not agree with gay marriage for not doing this. They might not agree with my sexual orientation, but they still respect and love me as a person. Again, I thank you.

For those who try to push their religious beliefs on to someone else – if a man marries a man or a woman marries a woman, will that make such a huge alteration to your daily life that you won’t be able to function normally? This kind of reminds me of a post I saw on a meme website – “saying someone else’s marriage is against your religion is like getting mad at someone for eating a donut because you’re on a diet.”

Bottom line – everyone should have the right to marry the person they love. Illinois might have crossed the threshold, but there are still 35 states left to convince. Will every state eventually join the party? Hopefully yes, but it’s hard to say. However, if they do, then consider it mission accomplished.