A gay marriage bill in Illinois might not get a vote in the House
After the marriage bill cleared the Senate on Valentine's Day, its
sponsor in the House, Rep. Greg Harris, an openly gay Democrat from
Chicago, decided as lawmakers wrapped up the session in May not to
call the bill for a vote. Harris said at the time that he had been
asked by colleagues to wait until the fall.
The surprising move provoked supporters into fortifying their
campaign, increasing resources and reevaluating their strategy.
But now Harris says he's considering keeping the vote on hold
until next January, though he has not ruled out a vote during the
upcoming veto session, which runs October 22-24 and November 5-7,
though the bill is more likely to come up near the session's end.
“I think we need to continue to work with folks in their
districts and let them know how things have change,” Harris told
Chicago gay weekly Windy
City Times, a reference to
the federal government's recent decision to recognize for the purpose
of benefits gay couples in a marriage but not those in a civil union.
Illinois is one of four states where gay couples can enter a civil
union but not a marriage.
When asked whether organizers have increased the bill's “yes”
count, Illinois Unites for Marriage Campaign Manager John Kohlhepp
told the paper: “I believe that we can say that we have.”
But the paper notes that no House member has publicly announced
his or her support since May.