ADVANCES IN ILLINOIS
The State of Illinois and especially the city of Chicago, has been aroused of late to a sense of the iniquity of the social evil, its multitudinous ramifications, its association with city officials, politicians and business men, and its present secure foundation in special privilege.
Some of these things have been known a long time by a few people, but these for various reasons have kept silent. Others have kept silence because they did not know the truth. Had they been aware of the situation as it exists, such a virile protest would have been voiced as to make those responsible tremble.
It is fully time for people to be told the facts, so that they can act intelligently and produce results.
Last summer, a young man named Harry Balding was sentenced to the house of correction in Chicago for luring young girls to their ruin.
Not long ago he made a confession stating that he had been one of a gang of men who carry on a white slave traffic by means of wholesale bigamy. These men marry young girls and then take them into immoral resorts and force them into an evil life. They either sell these girls outright or else live from the proceeds of their dishonor. One of these men is known to have married six girls whom he afterwards forced into resorts.
The Assistant States Attorney says that it is almost impossible to convict these men, since in Illinois it is not a felony for a husband to compel or induce his wife to live in a resort; he can mere be prosecuted for disorderly conduct, vagrancy or some minor offense. It is believed that the same is true of every state in the Union, with the possible exception of California and New York.
But the friends of morality in Illinois have succeeded in an effort to amend their law by a vote in the House of 102 to 0. It was passed also by the Senate, and the Governor is expected to approve it.
This amendment provides that any person who induces a woman to enter an immoral resort shall be punished by a heavy fine or imprisonment, from six months to five years or both, that a woman so induced shall be a competent witness; and that "the act or state of marriage shall not be a defense to violation of this act."
It would seem to be wise for our friends in every State to make an examination into their laws relative to these social questions, and take steps to follow the excellent example of our energetic confreres in Illinois.