Though Harris and other representatives in Springfield are looking to enact change on a state-wide level, Harris said that he’s seen his constituency as one that would embrace the potential equal marriage amendment.
“Not only does my area happen to have a number of lesbian [and] gay families who have made their homes here for many, many years, I also think we’re very fortunate in this neighborhood [to have] opposite-sex neighbors say ‘Why should one family in Illinois bet treated differently than we are?’ and they want the same respect for their neighbors that their marriage is given,” Harris said.
Reception to the potential marriage amendment has been well-received by his constituents so far, and support for the cause is widespread throughout the immediate area, Harris said.
“I’ve heard good deal of support and people willing to make calls and write letters helping the cause. People are also very grateful that all the reps in this area are supportive of marriage equality. Ann Williams, Kelly Cassidy, my two neighboring reps, Sara Feigenholtz, Senator Heather Steans [are] all leaders in the marriage equality fight.”
Harris’ district includes areas of Ravenswood Manor, Lincoln Square and Andersonville.
in 2010, he was the chief sponsor of The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection & Civil Union Act which established the recognition of civil unions in the State of Illinois.
The Illinois General Assembly’s new session begins on Jan. 14, 2013. After the Nov. 6 General Election, Democrats now hold a veto-proof majority in both chambers of the statehouse.