Illinois House Speaker Extends Marriage Equality Bill’s Deadline for Approval to August 31

Does the Illinois marriage equality bill still have a chance?

MadiganThat's what seems to be suggested given a quiet Friday night move by Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (pictured) which extended the deadline for approval on the bill to August 31, the Illinois Observer reports:

State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) told a packed House chamber on Friday evening that he had to put off a vote on the proposal until November.

However, were Governor Pat Quinn to call lawmakers back to Springfield in the summer for a special session to address pension reform, which also was left without resolution, he could include Senate Bill 10 in a special session proclamation.

If Quinn declines to include marriage equality in any order to lawmakers to return to Springfield, Madigan could call a House special session of his own at the same time to take up the legislation, an insider noted.

“It’s a fascinating move,” said one, long-time lobbyist. “It suggests that there is plan to get it done.”


  1. K in VA says

    Very, very interesting.

    Our side needs to regroup to fight on. Nasty recriminations and finger-pointing now will only be cunterproductive. We can win this, even in screwed-up Illinois, if we stick together and work even harder to get votes later.

  2. Hugh says

    It sounds like the pro marriage equality side got their fire…too bad it’s so late, but it seems like they got their fire. This is a fascinating development.

  3. Scott Johansen says

    Madigan saw serious backlash from the core democratic party after they failed to commit to this bill and this is the response back

    I think this is definitely promising, but sad it had to take tears to get them to grasp our equal rights.

  4. Blue steel says

    Alright LGBT: THIS is your gift. What you do with it can be the difference of having marriage equality or not having it. Mobilize, galvanize and work the next 3 months. I have a feeling it can be done, especially with this development.

  5. Francis #1 says

    Nice, but there’s a lot of if, and’s, and maybe’s, so we need to be realistic while remaining optimistic. Don’t get the hopes up only to have them crash but if you’re in Illinois, it’s time to put the pedal to the medal and really work.

  6. Craig Nelson says

    Illinois politics is like the manufacture of sausages. They can taste delicious but you don’t want to peer too closely at what goes into ’em – it will put you off.

    The whole thing really does put you off whereas proceedings in Rhode Island and Minnesota were so uplifting. Oh well.

    There were many failings here. The bottom line is that this wasn’t our time, but our time will come. Remember nothing is perfect – all humain endeavour has flaws.

    I do agree that recriminations will not help. Getting down to solid organising and learning some lessons from other states (? Maryland, ?New York). It can be done!

  7. Mark says

    It’s hard to see how a couple of months will be enough to shake the unholy alliance between the House Black Caucus and the House Republican Party.

  8. says

    Time to put the pressure on the appropriate people for this to get done, either in August or in November, but I hope the next time around they’ll skip the broken promises and false hope raising–save the certainty till it’s a done deal. What happened yesterday should never have happened. Don’t say you’ve got the goods when you don’t.

  9. gb says

    August 31st? This may give them enough time to realize they don’t really need or want it.

  10. Icebloo says

    Don’t hold you breath. Illinois politicians are too corrupt & self serving to do anything for anyone but theselves plus the black churches in Illinois are highly homophobic and control many of the black politicians.

    Illinois is a hot mess !

  11. JONES says

    Looks like Madigan got the message that politicizing LGBT equality to further his personal political agenda wasn’t going to be taken lightly.
    This might be a placating ploy and the actual session could never materialize. There were a few qualifying ‘if’s’ in that statement. We need to put pressure on Quinn and Madigan to make sure it happens.

    The Black Caucus claims they were unfairly targeted, now we’ll see.
    Set up interviews with and get each and every Rep on video between now and the actual vote. That will negate the blame game and the finger pointing.
    There are some Republicans reps that might be swayed as well.

  12. beebs says

    Are you with me Illinois?? Let’s get “it” done! Anyone still unsure what “it” is?

  13. Javier says

    Insanity is repeating the same failed tactic again. Whatever they have been doing, they need to stop, and study states like Maryland that successfully attained Marriage equality. Maryland is particularly instructive because it made prominent megachurch black pastors who supported marriage equality the centerpiece of its equality campaign, especially in media and broadcast ads. IL progressives need to raise money nationwide to run powerful ads to the Black community, hire staff, and lobby like never before. Additionally, gay rights groups need to consider hiring new leadership. When Maryland’s major gay rights group failed to get gay marriage passed, they asked for the resignation of their leader. In 2012, a new leader successfully got marriage passed and voter ratified. Moreover, IL progressives need to wake up and adopt aggressive activism, from Chicago to Springfield. All that mass activism and excitement on the last day of the legislative session should have been occurring months ago.

  14. jamal49 says

    I guess I didn’t get the memo about Illinois politics. Stupid me thought all the hype here on TW was that it was coming up for an up or down vote and we were going to win. So, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Does this mean our political enemies can now regroup and push to scuttle marriage equality in Illinois for good? What has to happen now for marriage equality to become reality in Illinois? It all sounds pretty f*cked up to me.

  15. Scott Johansen says

    It’s called DOMA.

    In a few weeks when DOMA falls flat on it’s face, so too will a civil union.

    We already know a civil union is not equivalent, but when DOMA is eliminated, there is a concrete case to be made that civil unions are not worthy.

    The lawmakers who were undecided can very easily justify voting fr marriage equality in August using SCOTUS and DOMA as their catalyst.

  16. John says

    I think there are many legislators who are hoping that the SCOTUS decision will provide them with some cover for their vote. After the decision is released, they will probably be more likely to vote for equality.

  17. Kyle C. says

    I don’t know. I feel optimistic about this. LGBT and mainly our allies in Illinois were NOT happy about yesterday’s decision. The news here has been covering the resentment by the marriage equality side and the complacency and reluctance of the lawmakers. There’s been a lot of reaction and I think they realized it wasn’t worth not taking a vote.

    Yesterdays failure to vote reenergized not only the LGBT movement but liberal base in Illinois.

  18. Mitch Dallas says

    Yeah, GLBT haven’t let the politics of Chicago just toy with our rights. I’m thrilled to see that our community didn’t just kick rocks and accept the decision. We let them have a few pieces of our mind, and I’m positive that won’t stop and the passion will be sustained all throughout the summer. You don’t treat GLBT as trash and mistreat our rights and equality and think we’ll let you get away with it. NY should have been a huge wake up call for the Democratic party. No longer are we going to stand in the back of the line begging for rights.

  19. C.J says

    I see a resurgence of activism in Illinois that I’ve honestly never seen in maybe 25 years of being out and an active member of the movement. In some ways, yesterday really was a shot in the arm for us because people around me are more engaged than I’ve ever seen.

  20. Javier says

    “This is what happens when you allow a multi-billionaire and national organizations that have no clue about Illinois politics and how Springfield works to call the shots. Sometimes we get exactly what we deserve,” said Rick Garica, Policy Director and Director of the Equal Marriage Illinois Project for The Civil Rights Agenda. “High priced media consultants and high priced lobbyists don’t get it done. What gets the job done is real people standing up and speaking out and that was horribly absent from this process. Today is a new day. Rich guys are no longer going to drive this – we are. And we will have marriage equality in Illinois.”

    “From the beginning, we have been upset about the lack of diversity and inclusion in this process,” said Anthony Martinez, Executive Director of The Civil Rights Agenda. “Unfortunately the Sponsor didn’t include people of color in the sponsorship of the bill and the rich white guys from the north side of Chicago thought they could get it done with their checkbook. That was the downfall of this bill. We will continue to push and get this done.”

  21. RMB says

    Why does no one pay attention?

    The first time Civil Unions failed, IN THE EXACT SAME WAY, they ALSO extended it like this. Nothing came of it.

    “It’s a fascinating move,” said one, long-time lobbyist. “It suggests that there is plan to get it done.”

    No there isn’t. It’s more stringing along.

  22. Mika says

    he SCOTUS decision is going to give a huge gift to these undecided lawmakers to say “Hey, now I have to vote for gay marriage because civil unions are officially not at all in the same ball park as a marriage in terms of rights granted”

    I expect us to see same sex marriage in Illinois in August. That being said, only with serious hard work with legislators from now till August.

  23. Mika says

    Javier, stop commenting on this site. As a militant catholic worshipper (a pedophile cover up organization led by hate mongers, corrupt in masking lies, promoting half truths and demonizing LGBT) you’re not qualified to give an objective commentary on the rights and respects of LGBT. The Catholic church is currently having a crisis and meltdown with the lowest attendance in it’s churches history as far as youth and church attendance. So while you passionately defend that cult, we’re winning. No social movement has been as successful in as short of a period of time as LGBT have. Know that. And know that we’re everywhere.
    And we’re not going anywhere.

    Happy Pride Month everyone!

  24. J.J says

    I love you Mika. Thanks for saying that. Javier’s previous comments trying to tell LGBT to beg for right’s from the catholic church and be willing to sacrifice our CIVIL RIGHTS for a fabricated religious mythology proves the kid has no clue what constitutional freedoms means. LGBT don’t have to beg Catholics for nothing, Javier. Keep your rabid Catholicism in your own home. We’re taking our story to SCOTUS and sometime in the near future, LGBT will be a protected class.

  25. Michaelandfred says

    I suppose Fridays mess might actually end up being helpful. A no vote would have killed this, but after all the finger pointing and outrage in the media, and all the resounding “it wasn’t OUR faults” we were hearing, both the caucus and an apathetic speaker will now have to put their money where their mouths are or look exactly like what people were saying. We may actually see some energy where there was none before.

  26. Pageant Polley says

    I think it’s going to pass after the SCOTUS decision but they need to keep pressure on the elected leaders there. That’s the only way!

  27. Pat says

    Mmm, but in several articles, for example , they say: “Nevertheless, during a summer session, House lawmakers would need to amend the bill and change the effective date from “30 days” from a gubernatorial signature to January 1 in order to avoid a 3/5th or 71 vote requirement, an insurmountable hurdle. Amending the bill’s effective date would also require an Illinois Senate vote to concur with such a change.”
    So, earlier we were hoping to get a vote in November with the law coming into effect 1 month later. Now we are talking about an August vote with the bill coming into law in January only… Did we really gain something??
    I dont understand what’s the advantage of voting earlier if the law comes into effect later!? Am I missing sth?

  28. LincolnLounger says

    You didn’t miss anything. This move is like putting lipstick on the pig. The simple fact is that African-American legislators were cowards, and the Speaker, who could have made this happen in 10 minutes by offering protection for Democrat primary elections, wouldn’t move off the dime. This is NOT happening in August or fall veto, it will only happen next year after the filing deadlines for the 2014 elections.