Letter: Recognizing the freedom to marry

To the Editor:

The following is an open letter from Illinois “Mayors for Marriage Equality.” It has been updated from its original form to reflect the recent Illinois House vote to approve same-sex marriage.

We support the passage of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.

As the chief executive officers of our respective communities, our responsibility and guiding principal is to work with citizens and businesses to encourage, create, strengthen and sustain an environment where everyone is provided an opportunity to succeed. 

We collectively believe that the passage of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act will complement our efforts locally and help enhance the economic health and well-being of the state of Illinois. Each day, we see same-sex couples and their families who suffer because they are denied the full protections of law – protections that strengthen families. These families cannot wait any longer for the state of Illinois to respect their freedom to marry.

Mayors for marriage equality are proud to lend their voices to the growing chorus of citizens, faith-based leaders, business leaders, organized labor and others to provide same-sex couples with equal access to the status, benefits, protections, rights and responsibilities of civil marriage.  

We are encouraged that Illinois will be added to the growing list of states that recognize the freedom to marry – and unleash the economic promise and power of inclusion and assimilation of all people – by supporting the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.

Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns, Plano Mayor Bob Hausler, Sleepy Hollow Village President Stephen Pickett, North Aurora Village President Dale Berman, St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina, Elburn Village President Dave Anderson and Yorkville Mayor Gary J. Golinski