Illinois, USA: Whither Now for Marriage Equality Bill?

Written by scott on March 14th, 2013

Illinois House Speaker Michael MadiganThe marriage equality bill is currently 12 votes short of passage in the Illinois House, the Speaker said yesterday. LGBTQ Nation reports:

The state Senate passed a bill last month – on Valentine’s Day – allowing same-sex couples marriage rights. Gov. Pat Quinn has said he would approve gay marriage if it comes to his desk. But Madigan, a Chicago Democrat who backs the bill, said the legislation is 12 votes short in the chamber. The Chicago Democrat said he’s been contacted by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, who opposes the idea of gay marriage.

According to Ballotpedia, the Democrats control the house by a 71 to 47 margin. That means at least 24 democrats either don’t support marriage equality, or haven’t made up their minds. Democrats. If you live in Illinois, contact your legislator and tell them you expect the Democratic party to get behind the LGBT community on this.

Eric Zorn over at the Chicago Tribune thinks he knows why so many democrats are gun-shy:

I’m disappointed by this but not surprised. Many downstate Democrats are socially conservative and I predicted earlier this year that they’d wait to see what happens with this issue at the U.S. Supreme Court.

A Michigan judge made basically the same call a week ago. But wouldn’t it be better to show the court that more and more states are moving to full marriage equality?

Illinois State Representative Jeanne IvesIn other Illinois marriage equality news, State Rep. Jeanne Ives, a Wheaton Republican, put in her own two cents during a radio interview. Chicago Pride reports:

“They are trying to redefine marriage – it is a completely disordered relationship … When you have a disordered relationship, you don’t ever get order out of that, so I am more than happy to take the no vote on the issue of homosexual marriage,” Ives told the Catholic Conference of Illinois Radio Hour on Feb. 25. During the same interview, Ives said gay couples seeking to marry are “… trying to weasel their way into acceptability so that they can then start to push their agenda down into the schools, because this gives them some sort of legitimacy, and we can’t allow that to happen.”


Illinois GOP Chair Pat BradySpeaking of the Illinois GOP, it looks like State Party Chair Pat Brady, who got in hot water for supporting marriage equality, will keep his seat for now. The Washington Blade reports:

Efforts to remove Illinois Republican Party Chair Pat Brady over his support of same-sex marriage appear to have stalled. Members of the Illinois Republican State Central Committee had scheduled a special meeting on March 9 to discuss Brady’s termination, but they abruptly cancelled it the day before. The Associated Press reported committeemen made the move in part because they did not have enough votes to oust Brady.

US Representative Mike Quigley - IllinoisAnd finally, a US House representative form Illinois just joined the NoH8 campaign. Chicago Pride reports:

U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) and six members of the Illinois Congressional delegation sent a letter of support for Senate Bill 10 to the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday. “For many years, we have fought together for what we believed was in the best interests of our districts, our state and our country… .Illinois will be stronger when we allow all loving and committed couples the chance to care for and protect one another through marriage.


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