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This Gut-Wrenching Video Shows Why Marriage Equality In Illinois Cannot Wait Any Longer

Illinois has been on the fence for marriage equality over the past few years, including a near-miss that almost extended relationship rights to all couples in the states in spring. A new video from Illinois Unites for Marriage details how the state has already wasted enough time in helping ensure the equality of its citizens. 

Meet Steven Rynes and Robert Smith, a couple who fought for the right to marry in their home state of Illinois. Rynes was diagnosed with Stage 3 Melanoma earlier this year, just as the latest round of battling for equality was raging in the state. Because his diminished health prevented he and Robert from traveling to Iowa to tie the knot, they had to obtain a second-class, lesser-than civil union in Illinois in January, though their hopes for marriage equality to come to the state in the next few months remained. 

That didn't happen when the Illinois House fumbled marriage equality's last hurdle by not bringing the legislation to a vote before the May 31 deadline. Rynes passed away on September 10, unable to marry the love of his life in his home state. 

Grab a tissue or six.