Over the weekend, the Belleville News-Democract published an open letter from one Jeff Tweedy, frontman of Chicago rock institution Wilco. In it, Tweedy voices his support for gay marriage and calls on Illinois legislators to pass SB 10, AKA the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.
I was raised in Belleville and still happily reside in Illinois. Over the last few decades, I’ve had the good fortune as a member of the band Wilco to play music in every state in the union and in countless other countries. In my travels, I’ve witnessed firsthand that gay and lesbian couples want to marry for the same reasons all of us do — to share a lifetime of commitment. I feel very strongly that everyone should be able to marry the person he or she loves and enjoy the dignity and respect that comes with that commitment.
By excluding same-sex couples from marriage, our state saddles them, their children and itself with second-class status. That is wrong, and it hurts Illinois families and businesses.
Nine other states have already extended the freedom to marry to gay and lesbian couples. I work and have friends in all those states, and I can say assuredly that it’s time for Illinois to join them. Waiting and sending the signal that we’re not open to and supportive of that community is a big mistake. The time is now.
I hope you’ll join me in calling on the Illinois General Assembly to give same-sex couples the freedom to marry by supporting SB 10.
SB 10 was approved last month by the Illinois State Senate and is now awaiting a vote from the state House of Representatives.
In related news, Jeff Tweedy remains a very good musician, both with and without Wilco. He’s also a very good weatherman.