In the wake of marriage equality advances in Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota, the governor of Illinois says it’s time for his state to get moving on its bill.
“It’s time to vote,” Gov. Pat Quinn told the Chicago Tribune Thursday. “Illinois passing marriage equality into law, I think, sends a great signal to the people of our state and the people of America. So it’s important to Illinois [that] the House of Representatives get going.”
The state Senate approved the marriage equality bill on Valentine’s Day, but it has yet to come to a vote in the House. Rep. Greg Harris, its chief sponsor, has not said when he would bring it up. He and other backers want to be assured they have enough support for passage before calling a vote, but they are making progress toward the 60 yes votes they need. Quinn has pledged to sign the bill. The legislative session ends May 31.
Harris said he hopes Illinoisans take a lesson from the states that have already enacted marriage equality.
“People who were married before same sex marriage are still happy and with their families,” Harris said. “All that has occurred is that the community has been strengthened, families have been strengthened, and children have found loving parents to help raise them.”
Meanwhile, there will be competing pro- and anti-marriage equality protests at two state representatives’ offices over the weekend. The right-wing Illinois Family Institute will be countered by the Gay Liberation Network at the office of Anthony DeLuca in Chicago Heights and by Fox Valley Pride at the office of Stephanie Kifwit in Aurora. For more info, email LGBTLiberation@aol.com.