Illinois Gay Marriage Vote: State Senate Poised To Approve Bill In Historic Valentine's Day Vote

The Illinois Senate on Thursday is expected to advance a bill legalizing same-sex marriage to a vote in the state House of Representatives, the last remaining obstacle to marriage equality in the land of Lincoln.

The historic vote could come as early as 11 a.m. Thursday, according to the Windy City Times, and marriage equality proponents are very confident in their odds.

The bill was advanced last week by the state Senate Executive Committee, for the second time. Following that vote, the powerful Illinois Senate President John Cullerton said he, too, was confident the bill will be approved by the full Senate in its Valentine’s Day vote and, in his State of the State address, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn urged both chambers of the state General Assembly to approve the bill so that he can sign into law.

The state House of Representatives is considered to be more conservative than the state Senate and those opposed to the bill are also ramping up their efforts. Downstate, Springfield Bishop Thomas John Paprocki issued a screed urging that Catholics who “propose or promote the legal establishment of marriage as something other than the union of one man and one woman harm the common good of society.”

If Illinois moves to legalize same-sex marriage, it will become the tenth marriage equality U.S. state. The state has had civil unions available for same-sex couples since June 2011.

The vote on #ILSB10 could happen as early as 11AM CST tomorrow. #IL4M #ILequality #Twill #ILove #p2 #lgbtq #marriageequality

— Justin Gibson (@JGibsonDem)

February 13, 2013

h/t: Huffington Post
Illinois Senate to vote on same-sex marriage bill on Valentine's Day -

(CNN) – The Illinois Senate will vote Thursday – Valentine’s Day – on whether to legalize same-sex marriage.

Because Democrats have supermajority control of the General Assembly, the measure is expected to be approved. After the Senate vote, the measure would be considered by the House.

Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, has indicated he would sign the bill.

If it is approved, Illinois would be the 10th state, plus the District of Columbia, to legalize same-sex marriage, according to Lambda Legal, a gay rights organization.

Three other states are considering similar legalization, said Camilla Taylor, marriage project director for Lambda Legal. A bill has passed the Rhode Island House and has been sent to the Senate. A proposal has been introduced in the Hawaii legislature and another is expected in Delaware, Taylor said.

“All eyes are on us,” said Taylor, who is based in Illinois. “It’s looking great. We’re very excited about Illinois.”

“We took the first step towards marriage equality two years ago when I signed civil unions into law. Since that day, thousands of committed couples in 92 counties across our state have entered into civil unions,” he said. “Now is the time for the next step in providing equal rights to all people in Illinois.”

Polls show that legalizing same-sex marriage is gaining support across the country, although it remains less popular in some Midwestern and Southern states than in the rest of the country.

Even Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady said in January that he supported same-sex marriage and urged legislators to vote for it. The move prompted criticism from conservative Republicans, including state Sen. Jim Oberweis.

But Oberweis seemed resigned to Republicans lacking the votes to stop the bill.

“I hope that we resolve this issue sooner rather than later because the state of Illinois has some tremendous financial problems to deal with, which in my view is where we should be concentrating our focus and our time,” he said.


BREAKING: #ILSB10 passes House Executive Committee 6-5.

BREAKING: The Illinois House Executive Committee has passed marriage bill #ILSB10 6-5. Off to the full house. #IL4M #Twill #ILequality

February 27, 2013

The full Illinois House of Representatives will likely vote on #ILSB10 as soon as next week. #IL4M #ILequality #twill

February 27, 2013
Passions, pressure, protests build over marriage equality bill - Chicago Sun-Times

As a recent town hall meeting in his district quickly grew heated, state Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo) said for the first time in his political career he wished he had brought something with him — security.

Franks was talking pension reform, but one man opposed to same-sex marriage became particularly agitated.

It was heated. For the first time, I felt, I really should have had security here,” Franks told the Chicago Sun-Times. “He got physically close, I probably asked him eight times to stop and felt he was being rude. We were in a public place. It was a little bizarre.”

Franks isn’t saying which way he’s going to vote on the issue, insisting he hasn’t decided and sees pension reform as his top issue.

In the last several weeks, behind-the-scenes pressure as well as public rancor over a same sex marriage bill still pending in the Illinois House has intensified. Picketers are coming out in force. Legislators have spoken to Cardinal Francis George personally on the phone.

One potential death threat — later deemed unfounded — was under investigation by the Illinois State Police and Mundelein police against Republican Ed Sullivan, a state representative who publicly disclosed his support for the bill.

This year, it’s no surprise there’s a more sophisticated push on both a national and state level, with big donors on both sides intimating they will pull support for a candidate or fund a challenger if the vote doesn’t go their way. House Speaker Michael Madigan has previously said the issue is a dozen votes shy of passage. Behind-the-scenes activists say it’s closer — but therein lies the potential for ramped up volatility.

The National Organization for Marriage has publicly said it would bankroll challengers to any Illinois Republican who votes for the bill. Groups opposed to same sex marriage have funded robo-calls to the districts of undecided lawmakers. The calls ask constituents to simply press a number and they’re directed to their representative’s district office. In some cases, it’s brought an onslaught of callers voicing their opposition.

State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), the sponsor of the House bill, said he’s heard positive feedback from the surprise yes votes — including from Sullivan.

“This is a very important topic, no one should be disrespectful or hateful in their approach,” Harris said.

Bernard Cherkasov of Equality Illinois said his group has sponsored phone banking, where constituents are contacted by phone and educated on same sex marriage. But Cherkasov said that the group urges its volunteers keep the conversation tame and respectful.

H/T: Chicago Sun-Times
Same-Sex marriage approval 'very close' in Illinois, says Gov. Quinn |

CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he’s confident same-sex marriage will become law in Illinois.

Quinn told reporters in Chicago on Monday that supporters are “very close” to the votes needed in the state House to pass legislation that grants same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples.

The Illinois Senate already approved it. But getting the 60 votes needed in the House is proving harder. Quinn didn’t suggest a current vote count, but he said “we’re going to get it done.”

According to Governor Pat Quinn’s wording on this issue, it looks like the Illinois House will likely vote on same-sex marriage within the next two weeks (or really anytime before the end of May). Expect the debate on both sides of the issue to ratchet up to 30 in the coming days on social media, our state Legislature, and in the churches.