Illinois LGBT activist group Gay Liberation Network is planning to picket Rep. Greg Harris, the lead sponsor of the marriage equality bill pending in the state legislature, on Saturday. The group’s demand: “a party-line vote in favor of the bill by the Democratic Caucus, which holds a super-majority in Illinois’s House of Representatives.
Writes the group, via press release: GLN has been unique in publicly targeting the Democratic caucus, and especially House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), for the failure of the bill, SB10, during the spring session and its uncertain fate in the current session. Because Speaker Madigan is so powerful, controlling access to jobs and contracts, most organizations are afraid to take him on and bluntly place blame where it’s due,” said GLN co-founder Andy Thayer.
The Chicago Tribune deems a vote at this point unlikely:
Lawmakers are waiting to see whether they face difficult re-election efforts, and religious groups opposed to the bill plan their own rally Wednesday. The situation has created a sharp divide among advocates who are split on how sponsoring Rep. Greg Harris should proceed. On one side are those demanding that Harris call the bill even if the support isn’t there, arguing that lawmakers should be held accountable while also making it clear who should be targeted as potential backers. On the other side are those who contend that pragmatic politics should not be ignored, contending a failed vote would set back efforts to get the bill passed and send a bad message.
And so we continue to wait for someone to show some political courage. Once again, we hear “now is not the right time”.