Illinois governor: Fight for same-sex marriage in Illinois is not over

Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Ill.)

Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Ill.)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Gov. Pat Quinn said Friday the fight for same-sex marriage in Illinois is not over.

The House adjourned Friday without calling for a vote on the measure.

Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Ill.)

Quinn had helped Illinois approve civil unions in 2011 and said legalizing gay marriage is a matter of equal rights and benefits for all citizens. In recent weeks, Quinn repeatedly called on House lawmakers to vote on and approve the bill, and had pledged to sign the measure into law.

In a tearful statement on the House floor on Friday, Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), the bill’s sponsor in the House, said he didn’t have enough support and decided not to call the bill for a vote.

“Several of my colleagues have indicated they would not be willing to cast a vote on this legislation today … and I’ve never been sadder to accept such request,” said Harris. “They asked me for time to go back to their districts and reach out to their minds and hearts.”

Groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, Freedom to Marry and the Illinois Unites for Marriage coalition issued statements after the adjournment, calling it a “disgrace” and unacceptable that there was no vote.

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Lambda Legal called the lack of support for the bill “a stunning failure in the Illinois House.”

“The House of Representatives has neglected the rights of its constituents by failing to vote on marriage equality legislation,” said Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “For months, LGBT couples and their children have had their lives put on hold throughout an exhaustive political process that ultimately came up short.”

“Today’s inaction is a prime example of why the U.S. Supreme Court must rule in favor of full marriage equality nationwide to ensure the security and welfare of these and countless other American families aren’t left to chance in future political battles.” said Griffin.

Quinn, a Democrat from Chicago, said he’ll keep fighting until marriage equality is the law in Illinois.

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