The Illinois House on Friday decided to postpone a vote on a gay marriage bill until November.

As Rep. Greg Harris, the bill's champion in the House, rose on behalf of the bill, supporters looking on from the gallery were shocked when instead of introducing the bill for debate, Harris announced that a vote would not take place until the fall.

“On Valentine's Day the Illinois state Senate followed down the path to make the state of Illinois the next state in our union to recognize marriage equality,” Harris told colleagues. “Our president, Barack Obama, our past president, Bill Clinton, our governor, the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, both of our United States senators, Mark Kirk and Dirk Durbin, have supported it. The speaker of the House, the attorney general, the state comptroller and many of the members of this House have stood for fairness and equality. The editorial boards of our major newspapers and thousands of proud Illinois families have risen to support marriage equality, as well.”

“As chief sponsor of this legislation the decision surrounding this legislation are mine and mine alone. Several of my colleagues have indicated they would not be willing to cast a vote on this bill today. And I've never been sadder to accept such a request but I have to keep my eye, as we all must, on the ultimate prize.”

“We will be back and we will be voting on this bill in this legislature, in this room. Until that day, I apologize to the families who were hoping to wake up tomorrow as full and equal citizens of this state.” (The audio is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

Marc Solomon, national campaign director for Freedom to Marry, called the decision to pull the bill at the 11th hour a “disgrace.”

“After an overwhelming victory in the Senate, today's failure by the Illinois House is a disgrace, especially for the thousands of committed same-sex couples who want and deserve to make the ultimate vow before their friends and family and spend the rest of their lives with the person they love, protected and supported by their marriage,” Solomon said in a statement. “Make no mistake, we will fight and make our case until all Illinois families have the freedom to marry the person they love and until the legislative vote reflects the solid majority of Illinoisans and Americans who stand for treating their neighbors the way they want to be treated.”