Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy has penned an open letter in a show of support for the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act (SB 10), which is designed to legalise same-sex marriage in his home state of Illinois but appears in danger of failing to pass the House of Reps.
The letter was published in the Belleville News-Democrat and, as reported by the Huffington Post, SB 10 passed through the Illinois Senate by a vote of 34 to 21 on Valentine’s Day. The bill now needs to be approved by the State House of Representatives but appears to currently be 60 votes short of passing.
Not wanting the bill to fail, Tweedy wrote his open letter in support of equality for same-sex marriage, drawing from what he has witnessed in his travels with Wilco. Noting that to exclude same sex couples from marriage is to treat them and their families as second-class citizens, Tweedy calls upon the Illinois General Assembly to support SB 10.
You can check out the full statement below.
Read: Jeff Tweedy’s Open Letter in Support of Same Sex Marriage
“I was raised in Belleville and still happily reside in Illinois. Over the last few decades, I’ve had the good fortune as a member of the band Wilco to play music in every state in the union and in countless other countries. In my travels, I’ve witnessed firsthand that gay and lesbian couples want to marry for the same reasons all of us do — to share a lifetime of commitment. I feel very strongly that everyone should be able to marry the person he or she loves and enjoy the dignity and respect that comes with that commitment.
By excluding same-sex couples from marriage, our state saddles them, their children and itself with second-class status. That is wrong, and it hurts Illinois families and businesses.
Nine other states have already extended the freedom to marry to gay and lesbian couples. I work and have friends in all those states, and I can say assuredly that it’s time for Illinois to join them. Waiting and sending the signal that we’re not open to and supportive of that community is a big mistake. The time is now.
I hope you’ll join me in calling on the Illinois General Assembly to give same-sex couples the freedom to marry by supporting SB 10.