Jeff Tweedy @ Fifth Third Bank Ballpark with Wilco, July 2012 (more by Matt Ziegler)
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Wilco frontman, Chicago resident, and all-around good guy Jeff Tweedy has written a letter in support of same-sex marriage to the editor of The Belleville News-Democrat. Tweedy, who was raised in Belleville, is calling for folks to join him in support of SB 10 which if passed by the Illinois General Assembly would give same-sex couples the freedom to marry. "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," said Tweedy.

Read Jeff Tweedy's letter to the editor in full, below...

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I was raised in Belleville and still happily reside in Illinois. Over the last few decades, I've had the good fortune as a member of the band Wilco to play music in every state in the union and in countless other countries. In my travels, I've witnessed firsthand that gay and lesbian couples want to marry for the same reasons all of us do -- to share a lifetime of commitment. I feel very strongly that everyone should be able to marry the person he or she loves and enjoy the dignity and respect that comes with that commitment.

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. Waiting and sending the signal that we're not open to and supportive of that community is a big mistake. The time is now.

I hope you'll join me in calling on the Illinois General Assembly to give same-sex couples the freedom to marry by supporting SB 10.

Jeff Tweedy

Chicago