Same-sex marriage ruling shows divisions between Oberweis, Durbin

The U.S. Supreme Court's punting of the same-sex marriage issue Monday was an unexpected move, state Sen. Jim Oberweis said during an editorial board interview with the Daily Herald.

“I'm a little bit surprised, I thought they probably would hear that (case),” said Oberweis, a Sugar Grove Republican running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Dick Durbin in the Nov. 4 election.

The Supreme Court declined to take up appeals from five states that had tried to ban same-sex marriage. The move means that gay and lesbian couples in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin should be allowed to marry legally.

“I believe in traditional marriage. I think marriage should be between one man and one woman,” Oberweis said.

However, “my passion is on economic issues,” said Oberweis, who doesn't think same-sex marriage is on the front burner for voters now.

“That issue's pretty much passed ... I think we've moved on as a country,” he said.

Durbin, a Springfield Democrat, takes the opposite view.

“I believe those whom God has brought to this earth with a different sexual orientation and who seek a loving relationship in the eyes of the law should be given that opportunity,” Durbin stated in support of Illinois' Marriage Equality Act in 2013.

Oberweis voted against the bill, which became law in Illinois this summer. It gives gay and lesbian couples the right to marry along with equal access to tax benefits and medical privileges.

The Supreme Court's move also could affect six additional states with legal battles over the issue.

As a U.S. senator, Durbin has voted and Oberweis would vote on future Supreme Court justices, should there be an opening on the nation's high court.

The oldest justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is 81 and has battled cancer. Justices Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia are 78 and Stephen Breyer is 76.

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