President Obama Encourages Marriage Equality in Illinois

The Chicago Sun Times is reporting that President Barack Obama has released a statement in support of marriage equality in Illinois, his home state.  

"While the president does not weigh in on every measure being considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect," White House spokesman Shin Inouye told the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday.

"As he has said, his personal view is that it's wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so. Were the President still in the Illinois State Legislature, he would support this measure that would treat all Illinois couples equally." Inouye said.

Marriage equality advocates in Illinois’ legislature are attempting to pass marriage equality before the current legislative session ends in early January. The law would go beyond the current civil union law Illinois has in place.

The president’s encouragement joins over 260 faith leaders from around the state who signed an open letter supporting marriage equality in the state.

President Obama’s comments also come months after he became the first president to publically come out in support for marriage equality. While many media outlets speculated whether such a statement would harm his chances for reelection, Obama continued to make history by becoming reelected after his endorsement.

"Like a growing number of Americans, President Obama has realized that marriage equality is the right thing for America," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "His support for marriage equality should provide Illinois lawmakers the courage to pass marriage equality for all citizens. Now is the time for him to once again bring that support to the federal level and overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, which continues to harm countless loving families each and every day."