Our state has recently passed a civil union bill, which would allow homosexual partnerships to be recognized as couples in the comfort of the state they live in. You’d figure as a gay-rights activist, I would be ecstatic about this  — I am not.

Civil unions are a start, but they are not good enough. Gov. Quinn is doing the minimum, just to make himself look good, by giving gays some kind of rights. He doesn’t want to have to get his hands dirty and risk some people disliking him by allowing gay marriage.

Gay marriage is a legal bond that would be recognized nationwide. It is like comparing a diamond — marriage — to a rhinestone — civil union.

The main reason a marriage is not permitted for gays is because of religion. Marriages would allow tax benefits, medical decision-making, becoming next-of-kin and adoption — all on top of being legally bonded to the person you’re in love with. Which parts of those benefits are religiously based? None.

This is just like the ban that was placed on interracial couples marrying. Our society will soon realize religion isn’t the problem, and that this ban is based on nothing more than fear and bigotry.

The Declaration of Independence states that all men — i.e. men and women — are created equal. When will we, as a society, start actually living this way?

Samantha Herrell, Bloomington

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