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Marriage Vote Cheered by LT Student Leaders, President Preckwinkle

The Illinois state senate passed the bill on Valentine's Day; it now advances to the House.

The Illinois Senate’s 34-21 vote on Thursday to advance a bill making Illinois the 10th state to recognize same-sex marriages has been lauded by student leaders of advocacy groups at Lyons Township High School, The Doings La Grange reports.

The paper spoke with seniors Abe Akande (La Grange) and Grace Gonia (Western Springs), both recipients of student-activist awards from the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, which promotes acceptance of non-straight (LGBTQ) youth.

“It’s amazing. I’m so excited,” Akande, also a leader of LT’s Prism advocacy group, told the paper. “Civil unions are good, but they still aren’t exactly the same as marriage.”

“I think the more people are aware about LGBTQ issues, the more accepting people will be,” the paper quoted Gonia saying. “LT is relatively accepting compared to some other schools. Prism will continue to come to the summits and focus on keeping LT a safe environment.”

In addition, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle released a statement lauding the vode.

“I applaud the members of the Illinois Senate for taking the first step towards marriage equality in our state. Gay and lesbian couples deserve full recognition of their relationships,” said Preckwinkle in an official statement. “Couples who are in loving, committed relationships should be able to marry and be treated equally in the eye of the law.

“I urge the House to pass this landmark legislation.” 

Read how local state senators ended up voting here.

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