In this edition of Weeklings!, I argue for why Illinois deserves gay matrimonial splendor. Hint: Illinois might be the gayest state in the union. And not just because it's where Oprah built Nate Berkus.
To help educate our elected leaders on why passing marriage equality is so vital to improving public health, the Chicago Department of Public Health submitted an open letter to the Illinois House of Representatives that makes the case -- a case backed up by data and historical precedent.
While the debate over marriage equality is largely philosophical, rooted in deeply held personal beliefs, there is a substantive policy discussion that is often overlooked and worth exploring: religious liberty protections in marriage equality legislation.
The denial of the "title" of marriage serves only one purpose -- to denigrate and diminish the dignity of the same-sex or interracial or interfaith or Catholic or African-American unions. It is a mean-spirited and cruel insult to the loving commitments made by such couples.
Like any legal concept, "marriage" can evolve over time. Indeed, that is the very nature of law. As scientific, economic, social, political, cultural, moral and psychological understandings change over time, so too do legal concepts.
Illinois legislators and civil rights organizations have started strategizing on moving from civil unions to full marriage equality for LGBT couples. But with well-organized and well-funded opposition like the Catholic Church, this will be difficult.