The Illinois State Bar Association
(ISBA) has endorsed legislation legalizing gay marriage in Illinois.
Chief sponsors of the marriage bill
last week said they will push for a vote next month during the
General Assembly's lame-duck session.
“We think we can get this done in
January,” state Senator Heather Steans, a Democrat from Chicago,
an announcement released over the weekend, the ISBA's 203-member
policy-making Assembly said it had voted to support the Religious
Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act introduced in February by Rep. Greg
Harris and two other openly gay representatives, Deb Mell and Kelly
Cassidy. Harris was also the primary sponsor of Illinois' civil
Harris has previously said he would
only consider pushing the legislation when he has the votes. As
recently as a couple of weeks ago, Harris downplayed the likelihood
of a vote in January.
“The timing is right for us to push
this,” Harris said last week.
“Folks are seeing what's going on
around the country,” he added, a reference to voters in four states
affirming such unions on Election Day.
The ISBA has more than 32,000 members
and offices in Springfield and Chicago.
If approved, Illinois would become the
10th state to extend marriage rights to gay couples.