Rauner: Follow Court Ruling Supporting Marriage Equality

Equality Illinois Calls on Rauner:
Follow Court Ruling Supporting Marriage Equality

CHICAGO (September 4, 2014) – The unanimous U.S. Court of Appeals ruling today in Chicago for the freedom to marry was a clarion call for Midwestern political leaders including Bruce Rauner of Illinois to end their stubborn opposition to marriage equality.

Equality Illinois demands that Bruce Rauner, the Republican nominee for governor, apologize for his pledge to repeal marriage rights and declare that he supports full marriage equality for same-sex couples.

“Bruce Rauner cannot hide behind his ‘no social agenda’ rhetoric when he has said clearly on the record that he would have vetoed the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act had he been governor,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest and largest civil rights organization advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit sitting in Chicago covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. In ruling unanimously against the Indiana and Wisconsin bans on marriage equality, the court said: “To the extent that children are better off in families in which the parents are married, they are better off whether they are raised by their biological parents or by adoptive parents. The discrimination against same-sex couples is irrational, and therefore unconstitutional.”

The unanimous 3-0 decision was reached by judges appointed by Democratic and Republican presidents, and the opinion was written for the court by Judge Richard Posner, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan.

“The U.S. Court of Appeals spoke unequivocally in declaring that marriage discrimination hurts families, harms children, and is ultimately unconstitutional. Bruce Rauner’s explanations in defending his opposition to marriage rights are exactly what the court unanimously rejected, and it is both irrational and unconstitutional,” Cherkasov said.

“These political leaders do not have to wait for a further ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court to act. Gov. Pat Quinn and a majority of the Illinois House and Senate understood that when they passed the freedom to marry in Illinois,” said Cherkasov. “If Bruce Rauner doesn’t have the conviction to do what is right for families and children, then he doesn’t have what it takes to be the governor of the Land of Lincoln.”

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