Main | Friday, May 31, 2013

No Vote In Illinois

Lambda Legal reacts:
This is a stunning failure in the Illinois House. This is too important to families across Illinois, and Lambda Legal's lawsuit, Darby v. Orr which was filed a year ago yesterday will move forward. The day is coming when Illinois will have the freedom to marry. Lambda Legal has been working in the Midwest for the respect of our relationships for 20 years and we won't stop until same-sex couples in Illinois are treated with dignity and respect.

We'd like to thank Sen. Steans for passing this bill in the Senate. We thank Rep. Harris, Rep. Cassidy and Rep. Mell, who have worked so hard to see this through. However, it's unacceptable that our community did not at least get the vote Rep. Harris promised on the House floor. We have a right to know where our elected officials stand on the fundamental right to marry the person you love. We will continue to work with them to push toward passing this critical law as soon as possible.
More from Freedom To Marry:
After an overwhelming victory in the Senate, today’s failure by the Illinois House is a disgrace, especially for the thousands of committed same-sex couples who want and deserve to make the ultimate vow before their friends and family and spend the rest of their lives with the person they love, protected and supported by their marriage. Freedom to Marry is proud to be an active partner in Illinois Unites for Marriage, and is grateful for the groups that led the effort on the ground — the ACLU, Equality Illinois, and Lambda Legal.

We also deeply appreciate the leadership of lead bill sponsors in the House and Senate, Rep. Greg Harris and Sen. Heather Steans. Make no mistake, we will fight and make our case until all Illinois families have the freedom to marry the person they love and until the legislative vote reflects the solid majority of Illinoisans and Americans who stand for treating their neighbors the way they want to be treated.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Stubborn resistance within the House Black Caucus, a 20-member bloc of African-American lawmakers who have faced a withering lobbying blitz against the plan from black ministers, has helped keep Harris’ legislation in check, with several House members still undecided.

“For me, there’s really no net gain for me one way or another. I’m hearing equally. Do I philosophically disagree? No, I don’t. But I would like to see absolute protections for churches and religious organizations so they’re not pushed into something they don’t want,” said Rep. Will Davis (D-Homewood). “For me, [a decision] will literally be when the bill comes up and after I sit and listen.”

Several in the caucus have urged Harris to push the issue into the fall veto session — after which nominating petitions for the 2014 ballot have to be filed — to bring up same-sex marriage for a House vote.

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