Illinois Lawmakers Pushing For January Vote On Marriage Equality

StatehouseILThere's big marriage equality news developing in Illinois, where pro-equality lawmakers say they may vote on a proposed law during January's lame duck session, the period before freshly elected legislators enter office.

From Chicago Business:

After counting heads and consulting with legislative leaders, the chief sponsors of a bill to permit same-sex couples to get married in the state this morning disclosed they intend to push for a vote in the General Assembly's lame-duck session, which will occur over two weeks just after New Year's.

And, in an indication of how big a campaign the pro side is launching, they've hired the firm founded by top presidential adviser David Axelrod to help them with media, organization and outreach to potential supporters, including corporate officials.

Chief Senate sponsor Sen. Heather Steans said, "We think we can get this done in January, while Rep. Greg Harris, lead advocate of the bill in the state house, concurred, "The timing is right for us to push this… Folks are seeing what's going on around the country."

Lambda Legal celebrated the news. "By bringing the marriage bill to a vote, Rep. Harris and Sen. Steans
the co-sponsors of HB 5170 have brought hope to thousands of same-sex
couples across Illinois," said Camilla Taylor, the group's Marriage Project Director.

"Whether it's through the courts or through the
legislature, Illinois same-sex couples and their children need the
freedom to marry now, and it's encouraging that our elected officials
agree. The time is now."

And Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, as we know, is on board. "I hope that bill goes forward," he said earlier this week. "It’s the House that probably the key arena at this time, and I think we’ll see how the members look at that issue. They should study it carefully and vote their conscience."


  1. Stefan says

    This is great news, as it likely means they have the votes for passage, and if they don’t now, they will as soon as the new lawmakers are sworn in the following week.

  2. LMM says

    They are making it so difficult for the already miserable Peter LaBarbera (in Illinois) to have happy holidays. Nothing ruins a celebration of Jesus’s birthday more than progress on human rights.

  3. Cyclone says

    We’d love to have our neighbor to the east join us in equality! While we in Iowa have enjoyed our position as the only place in the Midwest with marriage equality (for nearly 4 years now), we are excited at the prospect of our neighbors extending dignity, respect, and compassion to all citizens (and perhaps Minnesota, soon, too?)!

  4. About time says

    Well it’s abbout time! We have the third biggest city in the country and are a progressive blue state, so this is long overdue.

  5. zeke says

    With New York, Illinois, and one way or another…California on board, more than half the country will live in marriage equality states. Sooner or later the Supreme Court will have to deal with it.