Gay marriage supporters in Illinois
said Tuesday that a marriage bill could still pass this week in the
According to the Chicago Sun-Times,
House Speaker Michael Madigan is personally lobbying for the bill, a
sign supporters are closing in on the 60 votes needed to clear the
The Senate approved the marriage bill
on Valentine's Day and Governor Pat Quinn has pledged his signature.
But Rep. Greg Harris, the bill's
champion in the House, did not call the bill for a vote last May,
saying it stood a better chance during the short fall session.
With only a few days remaining in the
session and looming threats from opponents to mount primary
challengers, conventional wisdom was that Harris would punt once again.
However, Madigan's involvement suggests
Democrats are preparing to bring the bill to a vote before Thursday.
“I had a brief conversation with
[Madigan],” Rep. Thaddeus Jones, a Democrat from Calumet City and a
member of the House Legislative Black Caucus, told the Sun-Times.
“He was asking about the bill because he is trying to pass it.”
“We're within striking distance,”
said Rick Garcia, political director of the Civil Rights Agenda.
“The speaker isn't going to make calls if we have 52 or 53 votes,
right? The speaker will make calls if we're at 57 votes, you know?
He's not going to bring 10, but he can persuade a couple, and I think
that's what we're going to rely on.”
A top aide for Chicago Mayor Rahm
Emanuel, who has also been lobbying for the marriage bill, put the
vote count at “58, very close to 59.”