Illinois needs to learn from Iowa’s lead

Iowa now can be added to two other states, Connecticut and Massachusetts, that permit same-sex marriages.

The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday unanimously upheld a lower court’s ruling that rejected a state law restricting marriage to a union between a man and woman, saying it was unconstitutional, according to the Associated Press.

Iowa’s Supreme Court decision, which takes effect April 24, has set a precedent for the conservative Midwest, advancing the cause of equality among the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community.

Now that another Midwestern state has taken the initiative, Illinois should follow by passing the Illinois Civil Unions bill.

This decision is a milestone for same-sex couples in Iowa. And while this is just the beginning, it’s a rather strong one. We don’t see an end to thesame-sex marriage discussion anytime soon.

The question is not “Will same-sex marriage be recognized?” as much as it is “When will same-sex marriage be recognized?”

This particular decision by the Iowa Supreme Court should be taken into consideration as the Illinois Civil Unions bill undergoesits third reading and a standard debate.

Progressive forces in America and Illinois are moving toward a sense of equality for everybody.

If passed, this bill will rightfully give homosexual couples the same basic rights that married couples have. This bill is about equality under the law.

The city of Urbana and Cook County already symbolically accept same-sex couples with domestic-partner registries. It’s time that Illinois truly recognizes homosexual couples and gives them equal rights and protection under the law.

Historically, Illinois has been slow to accept all citizens; it was only in 2004 that anti-discrimination laws protecting homosexuals were passed. Now is the perfect time for Illinois to step up and be at the forefront of this cultural change.