Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is making
good on a campaign promise to back a bill that recognizes gay and
lesbian couples with civil unions.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times,
Democratic leaders, including Quinn and Senate President John
Cullerton, are looking to bring the bill up for a vote during the
veto session that begins Tuesday.
Openly gay Illinois State
Representative Greg Harris' civil unions bill passed out of committee
in the spring, but lawmakers have yet to vote on it.
Quinn said during the campaign that he
wanted to sign the bill into law before the end of the year.
The Democratic governor's November 2
victory was an upset. Political analysts had predicted an easy win
for State Senator Bill Brady, who carried all but the state's three
most populous counties. Metro Chicago provided Quinn, who came to
power last year after Rod Blagojevich was impeached, with more than
half of his votes.
A Brady win would have put passage of
the legislation in doubt. The Republican objects to any government
recognition of gay unions, and supports banning gay marriage in the
Rick Garcia, public policy director of
Equality Illinois, the state's largest gay rights advocate, said his
group was “in overdrive working to get the civil union bill passed
before the end of the year.”
“And, the governor is fully on
New Jersey is the only state that
offers civil unions. Several states, including Washington and
California, offer gay couples domestic partnerships. Democratic
wins on November 2 in Hawaii boosted the odds that the state will
approve a civil unions bill during its next legislative session.