Illinois lawmakers could consider a
bill legalizing gay marriage as early as this month, one of its
sponsors said Thursday.
Illinois State Representative Greg
Harris told Chicago gay weekly Windy City Times that the bill,
introduced in February, could come up for a vote during the General
Assembly's upcoming lame duck session and advised proponents to start
calling their lawmakers to voice their support.
“We have some opportunities to move
legislation in the veto session and we just need to be prepared,”
told the paper.
Harris introduced the marriage equality
bill along with two other openly gay representatives, Deb Mell and
Harris is also the primary sponsor of
legislation last year which created civil unions for gay couples.
He said in June that civil unions are
not good enough.
“[T]here are numerous instances where
families are being denied their basic rights under civil unions,”
he said in an interview with Gay
Chicago TV's Critical Thinking. “So what we are seeing
is that separate is not equal. And that we need to move to full
marriage equality so that people are treated equally under the eyes
of the law. But more importantly, so that their community, their
neighbors, their fellow congregants at church, or temple, also look
at their relationships in the same way they would look at the
relationship of another married couple.”