Illinois Governor Optimistic Marriage Equality is ‘Within Striking Distance’ with Vote by End of May

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn tells the Windy City Times that he has met with more than a dozen Illinois lawmakers in recent days, lobbying them to change their minds on a marriage equality bill which still awaits consideration by the House.

QuinnSays Quinn:

We've been talking to house members of both parties, really dozens of them. I'm really optimistic we're within striking distance. Hopefully between now and the 31st of May, Greg Harris, our sponsor, will find a moment to call the bill for a roll call.

Later in the interview he is asked if a vote is expected this week, and he adds: " I think the sooner the better, really. I think we've worked very hard at this. I think it's time to have the vote, and I sure hope so."

Quinn adds: "I do believe we are very, very close, and we've come a long, long way," but says people need to continue contacting lawmakers:

Clearly, the opponents have been very aggressive, no question about it. But we, I think, have been strong at laying out the fundamental facts and arguments in favor of marriage equality….We've come a long distance. We've traveled over a very high mountain. But when you come down to the last stretch in the race, we've got to sprint. We cannot jog. In other words, what we have to do in these next few days and weeks is redouble our efforts because we don't want any legislators at the last minute deciding not to vote yes.

Illinois residents can find out how to call lawmakers HERE.


  1. MiddleoftheRoader says

    The President needs to contact some of these Illinois legislators. It was the President’s speaking out that helped change the opinions of many African-American leaders / voters in Maryland. He would have even more impact in Illinois, as long as he doesn’t come across too heavy handed.

  2. Chitown Kev says


    In Illinois, it’s not the black legislators that you need to worry about.

    It’s downstate Democrats that you have to worry about. Including at least one black downstate Dem.

  3. Icebloo says

    I am a Democrat and I am absolutely DISGUSTED with Illinois and Hawaii ! BOTH states have a Democrat majority where weak, spineless, pathetic, self-serving Democrats are too selfish to vote for our human rights. They are more concerned with their own, money-making schemes.

    I hope Democratic voters abandon Democrats in Hawaii and Illinois – they have shown what scumbags they really are !

  4. Lipstick Diva says

    I really believe Illinois enabling same sex marriage will be a HUGE huge turning point for this movement and our country.

    It’s one thing when Maine allows marriage equality….it’s a COMPLETELY different landscape when ILLINOIS legalizes it.

    More so than any state, Illinois is the one I would most be engaged and thrilled about getting this done, for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which being the impact it has.

  5. Jason Goldman says

    I have a feeling our fantastic President will indeed make another push for Illinois law makers getting this passed. He did so in a press release last month which influenced a number of elected leaders to come on our side. We’re in good hands. Proud of him and our wonderful first lady.

  6. Bruno says

    This has definitely been dragging on. I have heard that some Republicans are ready to come on board, but they’re obviously still a little short of Democrats on the whip count. What a shame this is still an issue in a solid blue state like this.

  7. woody says

    There was some talk over the winter of pushing the Illinois vote as late as possible in the spring session to give cover to republicans who would like to vote yes but fear being primaried. When is the republican primary for the Illinois legislators? Have we passed it? If not, will there still be time to have a vote in the current session if we wait for the republicans to gain that post-primary cover?

  8. LincolnLounger says

    No, Woody, no such thing a “post-primary cover”. For the 2014 primary, petitions may be passed beginning around 9/1, filing date will be in December, and the primary election will be next Spring (usually 3rd Tues. in March.)

    Chitown Kev, I don’t understand why you are pretending there is not a problem with African-American Democrat legislators. It’s a huge problem, and former Sen. Meeks, black clergy, and the Cardinal have all teamed up and are doing robocalls into African-American legislators’ districts There are some downstate Dem problems; however, the population and concentration of legislators are in Chicagoland.

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