Hundreds of supporters gathered in
downtown Chicago on Saturday to rally for a stalled gay marriage
The measure reached an impasse on
Thursday when its champion in the Senate, Democratic Senator Heather
Steans of Chicago, suddenly called off a vote. Steans said three
supporters, two Democrats and a Republican, were not present to vote
during the chamber's brief 2-day lame-duck session. Steans pledged
the fight would continue in the next legislative session, which
At the noon-time rally, titled the
Chicago Rally for Illinois Marriage Equality, Rick Garcia of
The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA) told about 200 people that lawmakers
should press on.
“We've spent a long and crazy week in
Springfield and you may have heard some people want to throw in the
towel because the clock is ticking and the end of the session is
Tuesday,” Garcia is quoted as saying by ChicagoPride.com.
“Let me tell each and every one of you – as I look in your eye –
we have until Tuesday to get it done in this session.”
While the Senate's special session is
over for now, House members begin theirs on Sunday. The Senate could
reconvene before Wednesday if it chooses to do so.
“I do not care what high-priced
political consultants say, I don't care what media consultants say.
I'm saying to you that we are going to work until the last minute.
We deserve it, it is our right,” Garcia told the cheering crowd.
“Guess what? Hot shot activists and
lobbyists can't get it done. You have to call your legislators. You
have to call your family and friends,” Garcia encouraged. “And
you know what the message is to them? I got two. One isn't so nice,
but one is really nice. One is get the job done, get the lead out,
do it. And the other one is do not fuck with us.”
Other speakers included Lair Scott of
Queer Fest America; Andy Thayer of Gay Liberation Network; Suzanne
Anderson-Hurdle of the Good Shepard Lutheran Church; and Chicago
Aldermen James Cappleman and Robert Fioretti.