According to an article in the Windy City Times Thursday, Gay Rights Advocates have declared dead Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment SC0016, which would have amended the Illinois constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman and thus effectively barred same-sex marriage in Illinois. The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois (ACLU) was among the advocates following the amendment.
ACLU’s communications director, Ed Yohnka told WCT that the apparent defeat of the amendment means that, ” the efforts by some members of the Illinois general assembly to advance a constitutional amendment that would write discrimination into the Illinois constitution has been stopped this year. On the heels of the adoption of civil unions in Illinois and the wide-ranging public support for civil unions, Illinois was not going to turn the clock back twenty years and pass the amendment. “
According to Yohnka, what he identified as “larger public attitude shifts across Illinois and the country” in terms of greater acceptance of same-sex marriage meant that the amendment was a “non-starter” from the beginning. Expanding on that point, he said that, “You see legislators who will propose some sort of legislative activity who are really not doing so with the expectation that it will pass, but they get a press release or it fills the needs of some narrow constituency in their district.”