Illinois Senate panel rejects adoption-limiting bill

Wed. April 13, 2011 12:01 PM by News Staff

Springfield, Illinois - Illinois State Senators voted down a proposal, which would have allowed religiously-affiliated child welfare agencies to reject same-sex couples in a civil union in the adoption or foster care process.

"This is a huge victory for the LGBTQ community and families across Illinois," said Anthony Martinez, Executive Director of The Civil Rights Agenda.

The discriminatory adoption amendment to Senate Bill 1123 failed to pass out of committee in a 7 to 6 vote on Wednesday. There was 1 abstention.

"We applaud the members of the Executive Committee that voted no on this bill," said Martinez. "They have shown that discrimination in any form is unacceptable." 

The legislation was co-sponsored by two Senate Democrats including State Sen. David Koehler (D-Peoria), who introduced the historic civil unions bill in the Illinois Senate.

"This victory is huge, and it was definitely not assured," Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov told "That's why we are committed to vigilantly pursuing LGBT equality in every way possible."

Equality Illinois and The Civil Rights Agenda stepped up opposition to the Democrat-sponsored bill this week.

Despite opposition from the Illinois Log Cabin Republicans, the largest gay Republican organization in Illinois, every Republican State Senator on the committee voted in support of the discriminatory amendment.

Yes votes: State Sens. Christine Radogno (R-41), Dale A. Righter (R-55), Matt Murphy (R-27), David S. Luechtefeld (R-58), Bill Brady (R-44) and Antonio Muñoz (D-1).

No votes: State Sens. Don Harmon (D-39), Ira L. Silverstein (D-8), M. Maggie Crotty (D-19), Jeffrey M. Schoenberg (D-9), Kimberly A. Lightford (D-4), John J. Cullerton (D-6) and Donne E. Trotter (D-17).

Martinez called Wednesday's vote a "huge win for the tens of thousands of children that are in the adoption and foster system and need loving families."