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Watch LIVE: Illinois House, Possible Vote on Marriage Equality

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UPDATE: NO VOTE.

The Illinois House is in session. It's unclear if the marriage equality bill, SB10 will be brought up for a vote, though that has been promised by Rep. Greg Harris, the bill's sponsor.

There are numerous measures under consideration, and no indication when the bill might come up.

Watch LIVE (opens in new window) AFTER THE JUMP...

Today is the last session of the legislature. The bill must get a vote today.

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  1. From today's capitolfax.com: "Gay marriage proponents have known for months that they had big problems with the House Black Caucus. The proponents have several Statehouse lobbyists on the payroll, including two affiliated with the House Republicans who have produced just two votes so far. But until yesterday, they had just one black lobbyist, and he’s a former Senate Democratic staffer.

    Yesterday afternoon, a day before the scheduled end of session, two former African-American House members were finally put on the lobbying payroll…

    Veteran lobbyists Paul Williams and Coy Pugh, both African-Americans and ex-Democratic lawmakers from Chicago, have been hired by advocates backing the marriage equality bid to persuade House Black Caucus hold outs to vote for the bill sponsored by State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago).

    I’m not sure what two guys can do in a day and a half. I talked to one of them yesterday, and he’s not sure what he can do, either. This sort of stuff takes time. And it’s truly amazing to me that it took the proponents this long to realize what they were missing at the Capitol.

    There is a lot of finger-pointing going on right now about what should’ve happened. Maybe the Senate shouldn’t have passed the bill in February, before the votes were lined up in the House. But that sort of stuff is easy to see in hindsight. The lack of House-affiliated African-American lobsters, however, should never have been overlooked.

    Even so, there’s no guarantee that the bill will fail today. If it’s not called for a vote, the recriminations will no doubt begin in earnest. Speaker Madigan will undoubtedly be in for some blame. But the proponents will also need to reexamine what they did."

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | May 31, 2013 10:37:40 AM


  2. I fully expect it to be "interesting" today. I imagine the vote was scheduled today to get some last minute deals made so that some lawmakers got what they wanted done before this more high profile issue was addressed. Based on my experience here in New York I would urge Illinoisans not to despair, just keep on keeping on. You need to be there for each other and make your voices heard clearly! Likewise I would respectfully urge the doom and gloom crowd of commenters to temper our criticism and throw light, not shade today. These guys need a win. Go Illinois!

    Posted by: Micklest | May 31, 2013 10:38:11 AM


  3. "And it’s truly amazing to me that it took the proponents this long to realize what they were missing at the Capitol."

    you've got to be kidding!!! the RC & African-American ministers held a news conference(s) months ago declaring war on the bill! they did robocalls, mail & phone contacts targeting specific groups.

    where was the national leadership on all of this? the ones with 'experience'?

    Posted by: mike/ | May 31, 2013 11:02:11 AM


  4. This really has been a mess. First, Heather Steans made a mess of things in getting it passed in the Senate. They finally did so on Valentine's Day, but frankly she looked like amateur hour. Then, this effort in the House has been embarrassing. Equality Illinois is toothless, and the various equality groups spend all their time undermining each other for credit rather than than advancing the cause. I hope for the best but prepare for the worst. I promised myself I wouldn't get my hopes up, but I did anyway.

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | May 31, 2013 11:10:22 AM


  5. Just as I suspected, the gay rights groups have really done an awful job of lobbying and rallying the troops for this issue in Illinois. Didn't they study other states' successful same-sex marriage efforts, including Maryland, where an aggressive, visible campaign with pro-gay black religious leaders bolstered the proequality side? Why wouldn't they have rallies and marches well before today, like the antigay side had?

    Posted by: Javier | May 31, 2013 11:21:45 AM


  6. "you've got to be kidding!!! the RC & African-American ministers held a news conference(s) months ago declaring war on the bill! they did robocalls, mail & phone contacts targeting specific groups."

    All they had to do was study Maryland, which made pro-gay prominent African American clergy the centerpiece of their campaign,not just in robocalls and press conferences, but in huge tv and newspaper ad buys. THere should have been more calls for national help, including volunteers and money, to run tv, radio, and print ads with African American leaders.

    Posted by: Javier | May 31, 2013 11:24:45 AM


  7. I haven't been keeping track today. Has the vote already happened? Did it fail? Since I'm already reading the postmortems and blame here.

    Posted by: Terry | May 31, 2013 11:30:11 AM


  8. It's easy to armchair quarterback in the eleventh hour, but it doesn't serve much purpose. Either Illinois has managed to get the 60 votes or it hasn't. Those of us who aren't on the ground in Illinois aren't accomplishing anything with relentless negativity. Some of the same negative nellies on the IL threads were predicting with certainty 4 losses last November. I hope the people actually doing the work have a more positive attitude because it takes one to win.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 31, 2013 11:36:07 AM


  9. We can get this done and we will. If not today, soon. Very soon.

    Brian Brown may get the opportunity for one of his final endzone dances today, but he knows he's losing. He knows, no matter how many pathetic e-mails he sends, LGBT equality is indeed inevitable. He knows that a SCOTUS decision is coming and either outcome today in Illinois can be used towards our advantage:

    1. Pass - "it's time; look how many states have done this in the past year"
    2. No pass/no vote - "LGBT citizens are not politically powerful enough and need the court to gain full and decent equality"

    Posted by: kpo5 | May 31, 2013 11:42:46 AM


  10. I think there are multiple players to blame in this case, but I think the people of Illinois needs to do some soul searching and examine why they allow such a broken and corrupt system to exist in their state. More precisely, why do Democrats they allow Madigan to wield such unfettered power, and why is the legislators so far removed from popular influence?

    Posted by: Javier | May 31, 2013 11:52:43 AM


  11. IL is a machine politics state. Plain and simple. The pro marriage equality side apaprently did not learn lessons in Maryland, nor adapt to Illinois' unique political culture.

    We'll see what happens. Apparently Madigan has invited same sex families into his private box today, a positive omen.

    Posted by: Shane | May 31, 2013 11:59:49 AM


  12. Javier, you're blaming before the vote, just as you and others cast blame for the losses last November before we won. (Back then, you'd think the world ended in October--except it didn't.) Maybe we could save the woe and blame game for after the vote? It things go wrong there will be ample time to point fingers.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 31, 2013 12:08:06 PM


  13. Shane, I'm reading the same reports about Madigan inviting same sex families into his private box. Very encouraging news.

    Posted by: Terry | May 31, 2013 12:09:45 PM


  14. Carol Marin ‏@CarolMarin 28m

    The signs suggest same sex will pass. Speaker Madigan has invited same sex families to his private box.

    Posted by: Javier | May 31, 2013 12:29:25 PM


  15. Alex Meyer ‏@AJMeyer 4m

    Numerous gay families being seated in the Speaker's box. Seems unlikely he would set himself up for such a PR disaster if bill fails. #IL4M

    Posted by: Javier | May 31, 2013 1:07:49 PM


  16. What Ernie said, "It's easy to armchair quarterback in the eleventh hour, but it doesn't serve much purpose. Either Illinois has managed to get the 60 votes or it hasn't..."

    Posted by: Belthazar | May 31, 2013 2:32:44 PM


  17. Little problem getting the lemmings to the cliff today?

    Posted by: Ed | May 31, 2013 2:33:10 PM


  18. La Times is speculating that SCOTUS is going to punt on Prop 8. Return it on a 'technicality'. So not much hope for Illinois from SCOTUS.

    http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-76070072/

    Posted by: JONES | May 31, 2013 6:14:58 PM


  19. There are reports now that SB10 isn't going to be called. So, back to square one.

    Posted by: Terry | May 31, 2013 7:32:21 PM


  20. Fvck IL. I hate this state. I wish I didn't have to live here. It's so backwards and behind the times. Even Iowa and Minnesota are ahead of us.

    Posted by: Sad | May 31, 2013 7:38:16 PM


  21. Confirming what Terry said,SB10 appears to be dead.
    A crushing blow but also gives weight to the fact leaving it up to the states is just plain stupid.

    Posted by: Kevin | May 31, 2013 7:38:51 PM


  22. Buzzfeed confirmed the same: Illinois House Will Not Vote On Marriage Equality Bill, Sources Say. There will not be a vote on the marriage equality bill Friday, key advocates say.

    Illinois Public Radio’s Amanda Vinicky echoes, tweeting, “SO many rumors on same sex marriage all day (& week). Things change quick. But sources say SB10 won’t get called. Lacks votes.”

    Posted by: Belthazar | May 31, 2013 7:51:02 PM


  23. Crushing blow but it confirms what I thought all along,if they ahd the votes,they would have called it a long time ago.

    Posted by: Kevin | May 31, 2013 7:57:20 PM


  24. @Ernie
    Analysis of what went wrong in Illinois is not playing the armchair quarterback. We're in this game.

    When an equality bill passes in the Senate and doesn't even get a vote in the House for 3 months then something is up. Tactically & politically. Dragged out to last minute, last hour, of the last day of session; that's bad politics. Those we elected that didn't get this done need to be held accountable. Hard for me to fathom that the largest city for LGBT in the midwest was as uninvolved as what happened in the past 3 months.
    Apathy? Counting on SCOTUS? backstabbed? We have to analyze what happened here not to just point fingers but to make changes and keep moving forward.

    Posted by: JONES | May 31, 2013 8:05:25 PM


  25. We deserve the vote on the damn record. A big "piss off" to Mike Madigan and Greg Harris.

    Posted by: Jack | May 31, 2013 8:11:47 PM


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