Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will sign the marriage equality bill on November 20th. The governor announced Thursday that he will sign the bill at the University of Illinois at Chicago in a 3:30 p.m. ceremony. The Legislature passed the measure Tuesday. Quinn is a longtime same-sex marriage supporter. The Chicago Democrat says he’s looking forward to signing the legislation and “celebrating a big step forward with the people of Illinois.”
In related news, Think Progress says the passage of the bill was due in large part to minority legislators.
Fourteen Black Caucus members voted for the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, compared to just four who opposed (two effectively abstained by voting “present.”) The bill need 60 votes to pass and won 61 to 54 — making the Black Caucus votes a difference-maker. The members of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus also were nearly unanimous in supporting the bill. Black Caucus Chair Ken Dunkin (D), a co-sponsor of the bill, endorsed marriage equality as being “about equality and equal treatment under the law.”
One Illinois legislator says that her son would’ve been proud of the vote.
LGBTQ Nation reports:
Garret Jakobsson, the 46-year-old son of Democratic state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, died Tuesday evening. He had a progressive neurodegenerative disorder called Pick’s disease and had been in hospice care in the central Illinois town of Mattoon. Jakobsson rushed back to Springfield Tuesday afternoon to vote for the same-sex marriage bill, which she had co-sponsored. It ultimately passed the House with one vote to spare. Jakobsson released a statement Wednesday evening noting that “equal protection under the law” was important to her entire family. The vote, she said, was “one that I felt I could not miss and I know my son was proud of my decision.”
One Illinois lawmaker was so focused on the passage of the bill that he forgot to actually vote for the measure. ABC7 reports:
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton was ”so focused” on the goal of passing gay marriage legislation this week that he inadvertently neglected to cast his own vote on the bill. The Chicago Democrat was one of six senators who didn’t vote on Tuesday’s measure. The amended bill easily passed his chamber 32-21 after winning House approval. The legislation was initially approved 34-21 in the state Senate in February after Cullerton pushed for a Valentine’s Day vote. He voted for the measure then.
A pending lawsuit for marriage equality in the state has been temporarily set aside until couples can actually marry in Illinois. Joe.My.God reports:
The court’s order only stayed the Illinois marriage cases until Thursday of next week, and that is all that Lambda Legal and the ACLU agreed to. The cases are not moot at present, as same-sex couples currently are still not able to marry in Illinois. The cases will not be moot until same-sex couples actually can marry in the state.
The Huffington Post reports that many are already making wedding plans.
From the wedding industry to tourism, Illinois businesses are gearing up for June 1, the first day that same-sex marriage licenses can be issued under legislation approved by lawmakers on Tuesday. While legislators in favor and the state’s top elected officials have touted gay marriage as a matter of equality and civil rights, businesses hope the start of weddings will be a nice boost to the state’s economy too. But that start date — which falls on a Sunday — also is causing some logistical problems for the state’s county clerks who’ll be issuing marriage licenses.
If you live in Illinois, will you be getting married next year?