Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Common Cents: Sweet Home Illinois

From --

After a decade long struggle to gain civil rights protections the Illinois legislature has passed a law banning the discrimination of gays and lesbians.

The House passed the measure by a 65 - 51 vote Tuesday on the final day of the session. The bill passed the Senate Monday night. It now goes to Gov. Rod Blagojevich who has said he will sign it.

The law adds "sexual orientation" to the state law that protects people from bias based on race, religion and similar traits. It applies to discrimination in jobs, housing, public accommodations or credit.

Opponents argued it would lead to approval of gay marriage in Illinois, supporters called it a basic human rights issue, saying discrimination of gays and lesbians over housing and employment is just as wrong as discriminating against people because of race or religion.
A recent poll sponsored by Equality Illinois shows that a wide majority of Illinois residents support granting civil rights protections to gays.

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