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Illinois Legislature May Vote on Marriage Equality Bill in January

Lambda Legal and the ACLU visited the Illinois capitol in Springfield today with 10 gay and lesbian couples to lobby lawmakers on marriage equality, Lambda reports:

ILToday plaintiff couples in Darby v. Orr and Lazaro v. Orr, the lawsuits brought by Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois seeking the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Illinois, met with legislators to urge them to vote in favor of a bill ending the ban on marriage for same-sex couples in Illinois.  The bill, House Bill 5710, The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, could be voted on by the Illinois General Assembly in January 2013.

The couples filed lawsuits challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage in May. The Cook County State's Attorney office backed their challenge shortly thereafter.

According to a poll released in September, support for marriage equality has seen a 10-point increase in Illinois in just two years.

Earlier this month, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said "the time is now" for marriage equality, calling it one of his top priorities.

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  1. That would make the first mid-western State to pass marriage equality by legislature? I think so. Somebody following more closely than me feel free to chime in, but I think I'm right. That's an exciting prospect.

    Posted by: William | Nov 28, 2012 9:08:24 PM

  2. It was open to all runners.

    Posted by: Cheap uggs | Nov 28, 2012 9:15:47 PM

  3. @William Yes, it would.

    Posted by: J Ascher | Nov 28, 2012 9:20:26 PM

  4. If it passes, can opponents put it on a ballot (referendum)?

    Posted by: Emmy | Nov 28, 2012 9:22:14 PM

  5. The ballot referendum process in IL is incredibly onerous. If the legislature can pass it with lame ducks in the veto session, the Gov. will sign it and it will become permanent law.

    For the record, Democrats have complete control in Illinois and huge majorities in the General Assembly. It would be an easy assist from the President.

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Nov 28, 2012 10:16:45 PM

  6. Meaning no excuses for the Democrats.

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Nov 28, 2012 10:17:48 PM

  7. Execpt some dems from rual IL are pretty conservative and might not want to for to pass it due to concerns it would hurt reelection bids

    Posted by: Lee | Nov 28, 2012 10:58:16 PM

  8. William. Illinois will be the second. Iowa was the first one.

    Posted by: simon | Nov 29, 2012 12:37:47 AM

  9. Sorry I didn't read the legislature part.

    Posted by: simon | Nov 29, 2012 12:39:04 AM

  10. @ Emmy --

    Not only is the referendum process onerous, but voter referendums are advisory only -- there's no chance of overturning a law by referendum in Illinois. (It's worth noting that the last time Peter LaBarbera, who at the time was head of the Illinois Family Institute, tried to put a marriage question on the ballot, he couldn't even get enough signatures to submit the petitions.)

    Posted by: Hunter | Nov 29, 2012 6:24:37 AM

  11. This can be doable.

    But...I was born and raised in a town in central Illinois, Decatur. I know that area quite well. Downstate is going to be a tough sell. Don't think this marriage equality bill is going to sail through the legislature. It's going to take hard work. But is doable.

    Posted by: TerryA | Nov 29, 2012 8:35:32 AM

  12. Let's hope they vote to make history. Here in Massachusetts, we heard all reasons why not to grant marriage equality and it didn't matter. We were the first to have it in 2004, despite Mitt Romney desperately trying to block it. Set in stone here. Bravo!

    Posted by: Rob Zeleniak | Nov 29, 2012 9:39:14 AM

  13. Aren't you glad Romney has effectively been given "...the hook."?

    Posted by: Goodcarver | Nov 29, 2012 9:45:52 AM

  14. Downstate or not, Democrats need to feel the pressure to do the right thing, sooner than later. All but one Democrat in the New York legislature was persuaded to vote for equality (and a few brave Republicans), so there's no excuse for this not to happen in Illinois now.

    Posted by: Bruno | Nov 29, 2012 12:28:17 PM

  15. Hallelujah! We are praying for Illinois to become the second large state and the second midwestern state to legalize marriage. With a pro-family Democratic majority in the state legislature and a Democratic governor, it could happen.

    Posted by: DB | Nov 29, 2012 6:02:23 PM

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