Illinois Lawmaker Endorses Marriage Equality: ‘This Will Go Down In History’

Illinois Rep. LaShawn Ford (D)

The Illinois House of Representatives is in its final few days of meeting, which means the marriage equality bill must come forward before the week is over. This weekend, one more previously undecided lawmaker expressed his support for the bill, which is expected to pass. State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D) told the Oak Park Wednesday Journal that it was a “well-thought-out decision,” and one that he believes “will go down in history” like the Civil Rights Movement:

FORD: When you think about the moral issue, this is about advancing opportunity, the opportunity for all people to pursue life, liberty and happiness. As Democrats we are about opportunity, about including people, not excluding.

What really turns me is how the gay and lesbian community has taken a page from the Civil Rights Movement. I respect the hard work, the tenacity, the fortitude, the organization of the gay community in pursuing this. This should remind the African-American community what hard work [on political issues] does. This will go down in history as an example of how to effect change in the world.

Though the National Organization for Marriage has been largely absent from the campaign in Illinois, the group has worked with an African American Clergy Coalition to do robocalling against the legislation. Ford says he’s not worried about their opposition: “If they see this as against God then this is a call to action for them to go out and save souls.”