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Illinois marriage equality bill 12 votes short, says House Speaker

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A proposal to make Illinois the 10th state to allow gay marriage will face a “very difficult” reception in the Illinois House, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan said Wednesday as advocates vowed to continue pushing for the legislation.

The state Senate passed a bill last month – on Valentine’s Day – allowing same-sex couples marriage rights. Gov. Pat Quinn has said he would approve gay marriage if it comes to his desk.

Michael Madigan

But Madigan, a Chicago Democrat who backs the bill, said the legislation is 12 votes short in the chamber. The Chicago Democrat said he’s been contacted by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, who opposes the idea of gay marriage.

Advocates of gay marriage have amped up pressure in recent weeks, gathering support from religious leaders and the business community. They’ve said it is a matter of equal rights and was a logical next step for Illinois, which approved civil unions two years ago.

“I do feel confident that the bill is going to pass the House,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois. “We’ll leave the actual vote counting to the leadership.”

A main sponsor of the bill – Democratic state Rep. Greg Harris – said his tally differed from Madigan’s.

“We are closer than 12 votes, but we still have work to do,” he said.

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15 more reader comments:

  1. The Supreme Court wil take care of that.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:08am
  2. Vote-size matters!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:08am
  3. Why is this even an issue? Marriage should be for everyone. Period!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:12am
  4. let’s get the equality going everywhere :)

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:14am
  5. This is pathetic…Democrats hold a 24 seat advantage over Repubilcans in the Illinois House (71-47) and they can’t muster 60 yes votes? If they are 12 votes short, and assuming all Republicans are “no” votes, that mean that only 48 of the 71 Democrats are yes votes—23, or nearly 1/3 of the Democrats are no votes. Sounds like it is time for some primaries in Illinois Democratic House districts.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:21am
  6. CRAP!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:21am
  7. Don’t give up!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:26am
  8. history doesn’t look kindly on those impeding justice and equality.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:29am
  9. then 12 more people need to get their heads out of their ass…equality for all. We are better than this, dammit!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:30am
  10. Sounds like there needs to be a lot of primary challengers in the next election cycle.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:34am
  11. Sending an email now!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:38am
  12. Come on Illinois!!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:41am
  13. Even after civil rights back in the 60′s racism still lives…

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:49am
  14. Francis Cardinal George OMI needs to shove his gay bashing :poop: down his gay bashing throat & choke on it with his Jesus Freak koolaid. Religious WEDDING RITES have nothing to do with LEGAL MARRIAGE RIGHTS

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 11:41am
  15. - Sounds like a good many of those with a collective history of being under religious or racial discrimination in this country haven’t yet gained the wisdom to realize that being complicit in systemic-&-unwarranted discrimination against others lowers them and not the targets of their prejudice – whether it be active or passive prejudice. They have a choice to prove their character, and they are failing in it.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 12:35pm