Update as of April 18, 2011: Another web site, gaywrites.org, has covered the defeat of an anti-gay adoption bill.
An article on nowingaychicago.com highlights the defeat of an anti-gay adoption bill that would have weakened the civil unions law. The success came as the result of the hard work of activists such as Equality Illinois, The Civil Rights Agenda, the ACLU of Illinois, state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and longtime activist Rick Garcia who waged a fierce lobbying campaign against it.
“Illinois stands tall today,” said Harris, who was chief sponsor of the civil unions bill. “I think that once more Illinois has shown that we value equal justice under the law.”
The bill, an amendment to Illinois Senate Bill 1123 that was slipped in late April 11, would have allowed adoption agencies supported by state tax dollars to deny adoptions to gay and lesbian couples united by a civil union if such adoptions go against that agency's “sincerely held religious beliefs” regarding gays and lesbians.
The amendment was sponsored by Sen. David Koehler (D-Pekin), who was chief Senate sponsor of the civil unions bill that passed last fall. Koehler said the adoption amendment was to fulfill a pledge he made to some senators during the civil unions debate that he would support additional legislation to address concerns they had about the effect civil unions would have on religious groups.