Republican state Sen. Kyle J. McCarter introduced legislation on Tuesday, Jan. 21 to repeal marriage equality in Illinois. SB 2637, known as the Marriage Fairness Act Repeal, would strike the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act—the state’s same-sex marriage law.
Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda, says the move is most likely a campaign ploy aimed at garnering support from a conservative voter base. It allows for legislators in socially conservative districts to bolster support for their re-election.
“Well, it looks like it’s an election year,” he said.
Martinez also insists that McCarter brings this repeal with intent to destroy home-life for many.
“Even though most Republican leaders in Illinois have stated it is time to move past the marriage debate, Sen. McCarter introduced a bill that would harm thousands of families and couples across Illinois.”
As to whether or not the repeal has any chances, most would say it has no chance considering a Democratic stronghold on both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly.
“The senator knows full well that this bill does not have the support to pass, especially in the senate,” Martinez said. “Why would the senator waste time and resources to rehash a debate where the outcome that has been decided is supported by the majority of our state?”
Martinez added, “This is an old game of Sen. McCarter. He tried to enact similar legislation when we passed civil unions. I want to know what harm he thinks has been done that would warrant stripping away the rights of thousands of LGBT Illinoisans. There are always those who would seek to harm LGBT people after we have made significant gains towards equality, and I always wonder what they are really afraid of. A more just and equal society? Fairness? It boggles my mind.”
The first marriage licenses will be issued to same-sex couples in Illinois on Jun. 1.
McCarter has represented the 51st senate district—which includes Decatur, Ill.—since 2009.