Lawmakers in Illinois are expected to
begin laying the ground work for a possible gay marriage debate in
2013, gay weekly Windy
City Times reported.
Lawmakers and pro-equality
organizations are meeting to discuss the possibility of introducing
the measure next year.
“I do not delude myself into thinking
this will be an easy process,” State Rep. Greg Harris told the
paper. “But we need to take the first step.”
A civil unions law that gives gay and
lesbian couples most of the protections of marriage took effect on
June 1, 2010 after years of lobbying by gay rights activists. More
than 3,700 gay couples have taken advantage of the law in its first
Also involved in the preliminary talks
are Representatives Deb Mell, Ann Williams, Kelly Cassidy, Sara
Feigenholtz and Senator Heather Steans. Organizations backing the
effort are Equality Illinois, the American Civil Liberties Union,
Lambda Legal, the Civil Rights Agenda, Log Cabin Republicans and the
Human Rights Campaign, among others.
The groups hope to shore up the number
of pro-marriage equality lawmakers elected this November.
“We have to be ready to stand up and
defend the gains that we've made and to look toward the next steps,”