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Gay rights bill passes Illinois House, ready for gov's signature

Gay rights supporters, standing, from left, Rev. Jennifer Kottler, Rick Garcia, and John Cepek, applaud along with other supporters in the gallery after the Illinois House passed Senate Bill 3186, a measure to protect homosexuals from discrimination. (AP)

Wonderful news — as we said yesterday, it was up to the IL House to pass gay rights legislation, which Governor Rod Blagojevich will sign. (Herald & Review):

Gov. Rod Blagojevich vowed to sign gay rights legislation that won House approval Tuesday afternoon and would ban workplace and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation.

This truly is a landmark day in Illinois. This legislation sends a clear message that we will not allow our citizens to be discriminated against,” Blagojevich said in a prepared statement. “I look forward to signing this bill.” Upon signing, Illinois would become the 15th state to adopt gay rights legislation.

Central Illinois lawmakers voted against the proposal for a variety of reasons.

Three of the holdouts/naysayers — Chapin Rose, Roger Eddy, and Bill Mitchell.

“I voted ‘no’ because this is a backdoor way of legalizing gay marriage. This bill is going to be nothing but litigation for the next decade,” said state Rep. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet.

State Rep. Roger Eddy, R-Hustonville, shared a similar concern about how the proposal is construed by a liberal Supreme Court.

Not to say that I think those folks should not be treated well, (I believe) that they should not be discriminated against, but I think this is more of an issue of as to what the next step is,” Eddy said. State Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, was concerned that the proposal created a special class of people. “I just don’t like how we segment society now, we’re segmenting now based on sexual orientation,” Mitchell said. “We all as American citizens have certain basic rights, but now we’re categorizing people, and I just think it’s a dangerous turn.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding