POTUS Would Very Much Appreciate It If Illinois Legalized Same-Sex MarriageS

President Barack Obama has very publicly entered the fight for same-sex marriage in Illinois. Possibly just days before the Illinois General Assembly wrangles over the issue of same-sex marriage, POTUS urged lawmakers in his home state to legalize same-sex marriage because, in so many words, it'd be really shitty of them not to.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Illinois state lawmakers are poised to vote on the "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act" during an upcoming January lame-duck session of the General Assembly. Though both of the Assembly's chambers are controlled by Democrats, the act's sponsors Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) don't expect reliable Republican support in the state house. Obama's voice, then, should help galvanize what the Sun-Times. describes as "reluctant Democrats from conservative suburban and Downstate districts" whose support for same-sex marriage might, under pressure from Republican lawmakers, waver (when Illinois passed a civil union bill effective June 1, 2011, only a single Republican voted for it).

In a statement ahead of the upcoming lame-duck session, White House spokesman Shin Inouye told the Sun-Times that the President is firmly behind same-sex couples getting a chance to have poorly catered, banquet-hall weddings just like any other American pair of would-be newlyweds:

While the president does not weigh in on every measure being considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect. As he has said, his personal view is that it's wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so. Were the President still in the Illinois State Legislature, he would support this measure that would treat all Illinois couples equally.

POTUS doesn't make a habit of making state legislature cameos, but he's so far made an exception for same-sex marriage debates: Obama has publicly supported ballot initiatives for same-sex marriage in Maine, Washington, and Maryland, as well as opposed a Minnesota referendum to ban same-sex marriage. Thus far, he's been on the winning side of each of these statehouse votes.

Obama urging state lawmakers to legalize gay marriage in Illinois [Chicago Sun-Times]