Illinois

Ill. state leaders watch as lawmakers prepare to vote on marriage equality

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (red tie) stands on the floor of the Illinois House during the debate over same-sex marriage on Tuesday. LGBTQ Nation

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The state’s top elected officials are watching lawmakers debate a bill that would add Illinois to 14 other states allowing same-sex marriage.

Gov. Pat Quinn, Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka are in the House chambers Tuesday ahead of an anticipated vote this afternoon.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (red tie) stands on the floor of the Illinois House during the debate over same-sex marriage on Tuesday.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (red tie) stands on the floor of the Illinois House during the debate over same-sex marriage on Tuesday.

Quinn is a Chicago Democrat who says he’ll sign the bill if lawmakers send it to his desk. The other Democrats – Madigan and Simon – have advocated for same-sex marriage. Topinka is a Republican who supports same-sex marriage.

The bill’s sponsor — Democratic Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago — addressed House members Tuesday on the floor before the bill was to be called for a vote.

The bill passed the Senate earlier in the year, but wasn’t called for a House vote. Harris says he didn’t have the votes then.

Advocates’ momentum has been building since then, particularly with a fierce campaign, union support and lobbying from House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Opponents of the bill say marriage should remain strictly between a man and woman.

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