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Frustration mounts as vote nears on Illinois same-sex marriage bill

Thursday, May 30, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Black lawmakers undecided on Illinois’ proposed marriage equality bill are feeling increasing pressure as a vote nears, but are keeping mum on their plans.

Few members of the House Black Caucus have publicly backed the measure, which would make Illinois the 13th state to allow same-sex marriage.

Caucus members are being lobbied extensively by both sides. Their support is seen as key.

Rep. Will Davis of Chicago, who is undecided, urged advocates to “look to the Republican side.”

Chicago Rep. Emanuel Welch said Wednesday he was “leaning yes,” but would not commit to a vote until it is called.

On Tuesday, LaShawn Ford, a Chicago Democrat who had previously been undecided, said Tuesday a “majority of constituents” in his district support of the legislation, and announced he would vote in favor of the bill.

In April, Rep. Ken Dunkin, the leader of the 30-member Illinois Legislative Black Caucus group, announced his support for the legislation and signed on to co-sponsor the bill. The Chicago Democrat says said families living in his district are waiting for the state to treat them with the respect and dignity they deserve.

The bill’s sponsor, Chicago Rep. Greg Harris, said a vote is expected before Friday.

The Senate passed the marriage bill on February 14. Pat Quinn supports the measure and has pledged to sign it into law.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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6 more reader comments:

  1. Do the right thing, Illinois!

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:39am
  2. I don’t understand how a black lawmaker could be undecided on the issue of gay rights. If things never changed, and they didn’t get their own rights, they’d never even be able to run for an office and waffle on the rights of others.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:46am
  3. Joseph – It is amazing but an unfortunate occurrence in the black community that many are against same sex marriage because of strong religious ties. Which in itself is ironic since blacks would never be Christian if the whites didn’t force them into slavery and force Christianity upon them. Irony indeed.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 10:18am
  4. What Janelle said.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 10:27am
  5. i don’t understand WHY the african-american people are fighting this so hard….there ARE gays who ARE black….this fight is NO DIFFERENT, then the CIVIL RIGHTS fight of years ago…..politicans SHOULD leave their religious beliefs OUT of the meeting rooms and votes….the 2 should be separate.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 12:52pm
  6. i agree…’s time to HELP those who want the same things they wanted years ago….EQUAL RIGHTS…..blacks had to fight to even be able to marry whites and such.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 12:54pm