In a letter published in a downstate Illinois newspaper, popular Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy wrote the "time is now" for marriage equality in the land of Lincoln.
Writing in the Belleville News-Democrat, Tweedy -- a Belleville, Ill. native now based in Chicago -- urged the Illinois state House of Representatives to approve same-sex marriage legislation:
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.
Tweedy has been outspoken about his support for marriage equality. Last year, he joined Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü) and Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi) and other musicians in speaking out against a North Carolina constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage.
Illinois' marriage equality bill has already been approved by the state Senate and a House committee, but still needs the final OK from the full House. Action on the bill is not expected until early to mid-April and proponents for the measure say they are closing in on the votes they need to pass it into law, according to the Windy City Times.