A group of suburban mayors is circulating a letter backing same-sex marriage as lawmakers could be poised to take a deciding vote on the issue next week.
Same-sex marriage sometimes has been a divisive issue locally, but the letter drafted by Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns says gay couples in their towns are looking for the rights a marriage gives them.
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"We don't want to wait for others to do things," said Burns, a Republican. "I believe this is one of those issues."
The other mayors signing are Bob Hausler of Plano, Stephen Pickett of Sleepy Hollow, Dale Berman of North Aurora, Ray Rogina of St. Charles, Dave Anderson of Elburn and Gary J. Golinski of Yorkville.
"As the chief executive officers (of) our respective communities, our responsibility and guiding principal is to work with citizens and businesses to encourage, create, strengthen and sustain an environment where everyone is provided an opportunity to succeed," the letter reads.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn, both Democrats, are pushing for legalized same-sex marriage. Supporters in the state legislature so far have been unable to muster enough votes.
Advocates on both sides of the issue marched on the Illinois Capitol last week to make their case to lawmakers who could vote next week during their final scheduled days in session this year.
Some state lawmakers have been careful to consider the political impact of their decision on same-sex marriage, but it's unclear if local voters would weigh the issue at the polls.