Chicago, IL —
Twenty-three prominent Latino leaders on Sunday called on Illinois lawmakers to approve a gay marriage bill.
The measure which seeks to make Illinois the 10th state to legalize marriage equality cleared the Illinois Senate on Valentine's Day with a 34-21 vote.
It will face its first hurdle in the House on Tuesday, when the 13-member House Executive Committee convenes at 3PM.
In an open letter to lawmakers, the leaders said legalizing such unions in Illinois is "the right thing to do."
"[N]o member of anyone's family, whether they're gay or straight, should face discrimination when they hope to marry the person they love," the letter reads in part.
"As Latinos, we know our families are stronger when we stay together. We never turn our backs on family. That includes supporting the freedom to marry for our gay and lesbian sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles."
Notable supporters signing the letter include former City Clerk of Chicago Miguel Del Valle, Executive Director of the Latino Policy Forum Sylvia Puente and Vice President of the Chicago Board of Education Jesse H. Ruiz.
"The Illinois General Assembly should act now and give same-sex couples the freedom to marry. It is the right thing to do," the letter concludes.