Illinois State Senator Kyle McCarter, a
Republican, has ended an effort to repeal Illinois' gay marriage law
approved by lawmakers last year.
Following a federal judge's ruling
handed down Friday that there is no need for gay couples to wait for
the law to take effect in June, McCarter announced that he was
withdrawing his bill (SB 2637), which was scheduled for debate in the
Illinois Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday.
in lawsuit among first gay couples to marry in Chicago.)
“It was my intention when I submitted
Senate Bill 2637 this year to repeal the law which redefined legal
marriage within Illinois law because the people of Illinois were not
given a realistic chance to weigh in on an issue of immense and
radical cultural change,” McCarter
said in a statement. “Given the level of influence and
corruption we have witnessed by the well-connected and special
interest groups in recent years, I am not convinced the will of the
people was met by the original passage of Senate Bill 10 [the law
legalizing marriage for gay couples].”
While the ruling is limited to Cook
County – the state's largest county – supporters are calling on
clerks in other counties to recognize the ruling and begin issuing
marriage licenses to gay couples before the law's June 1 start.
“The federal court's ruling responded
to a lawsuit filed in Cook County and applies initially only to the
Cook County Clerk's office, but clerks in the other 101 counties can
take official notice of the decision and its reasoning,” Bernard
Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, said in an emailed statement.
“We will be reaching out to county clerks all around the state
hoping that they will also be persuaded by the judge's rationale.
After all, the federal court said that it is unconstitutional to deny
same-sex couples marriage licenses.”