Alexi Giannoulias announces support for Gay Marriage, repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Illinois State Treasurer and U.S. Senate hopeful Alexi Giannoulias surprised voters last week when he announced an extensive LGBT rights platform that included everything from his support for legalizing marriage for gays and lesbians to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

In announcing his platform, Giannoulias, one of four major Democrat candidates for the seat currently occupied by Sen. Roland Burris, became Illinois’ first major statewide candidate to openly approve of nuptials for same-sex couples. The Chicago native’s unprecedented position on marriage stands in contrast to Republican challenger Congressman Mark Kirk.

Current state treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias recently unveiled a platform that focused on rights he feels the LGBT community should have.

His list included marriage equality; the right to serve openly in the military; and protection against hate crimes as well as discrimination on the job.

The statement began with, "Everyone is part of the American family, regardless of sexual orientation, and must be treated equally under the law. All Americans should enjoy the same freedoms and share the same responsibilities. As a U.S. Senator, I will do everything I can to protect those rights."

Windy City Times: How did you craft this policy? How did you come to put this together?

Alexi Giannoulias: I think it's a matter of equality and fairness, which are the core principles of this country. I believe that all Americans should have the same freedoms and share the same responsibilities—and allowing gay and lesbian couples the right to marry, much like heterosexual couples [ can ] , is the right and fair thing to do.