The Chicago Tribune reports that more than 40 Illinois-based companies and their leading executives have penned an open letter making the economic case for marriage equality in the Land of Lincoln:
"To be competitive, a state must create an equitable, fair and respectful environment for all of its citizens," the letter said. "For this reason – among others — it is vitally important that Illinois lawmakers enact marriage equality soon."
In addition to Google Inc., Orbitz Worldwide Inc. and Groupon, individual signers of the letter include Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, Lance Chody, CEO of Garrett Popcorn Shops, Fred Eychaner, chairman of the Newsweb Corporation and Laura Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs. Eychaner and Ricketts are both openly gay executives who reportedly have funded the statewide push for same-sex marriage.
"States with the metro areas of New York City, Seattle, Boston, and Baltimore have already legalized marriage equality," the letter said. "Here in the Midwest, Iowa has granted full marriage equality, while Minnesota is poised to do the same later this year. Illinois simply cannot afford to be less competitive than other states."
Lawmakers in Illinois plan on currently getting their votes together for a forthcoming vote.