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Marriage equality advocates push for January vote

It certainly looks like Gov. Quinn will get what he’s asking for.


State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and State Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) said Thursday they believe the Illinois legislature is ready to recognize same-sex marriage.

“The timing is right for us to push this,” said Harris.

Harris and Steans are the chief House and Senate sponsors of The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act (House Bill 5170).

On May 30, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois each filed lawsuits representing a total of 25 same-sex couples from across the state of Illinois seeking the freedom to marry. Two days later, the Illinois Attorney General’s office filed papers agreeing that barring same-sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional. The Cook County Clerk and States Attorney also agree that the marriage ban is unconstitutional.

Two of the couples represented in the lawsuit live in Champaign-Urbana. Gay civil rights advocates, including Equality Illinois and Rick Garcia, Director of the Equal Marriage Illinois Project are working to secure the necessary votes needed to bring the bill to a vote. Said Garcia: “When the 60 votes in the House and the 30 votes in the Senate are there, we will call the bill.”

According to the poll run by Public Policy Polling, Illinois voters think same-sex marriage should be allowed by a 47/42 margin. The numbers were 58 percent for and 37 percent against among Illinois voters under 45.

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