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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 14, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 50
Equality in the Land of Lincoln
Section One
ALL STORIES
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Equality in the Land of Lincoln

Send me a marriage bill and I'll sign it, Illinois governor says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is hoping the legislature will pass a pending marriage bill when it reconvenes after the first of the year.

'I hope that bill goes forward,' Quinn said at a press roundtable on December 10.

'It's the House that is probably the key arena at this time, and I think we'll see how the members look at that issue. They should study it carefully and vote their conscience.'

The newly elected Illinois legislature will be sworn in January 9. The lame-duck session may consider the bill and send it to Quinn for his signature, but its prime sponsor told reporters that other pressing state business might keep legislators from taking it up.

'At this point, we will call it when we have the votes there,' Democratic Rep. Greg Harris said.

'We can see the trend of public opinion having shifted dramatically& but it takes time for legislators to figure that out. And there are a number of other key votes - pensions is obviously number one among them.'

Harris was also a sponsor of the same-sex civil unions law passed during the lame-duck session two years ago. Momentum is on the side of marriage equality, he said.

A PLURALITY FOR PROGRESS
'People all around the political spectrum have thought about this issue and said there is really no good reason that we shouldn't treat one family in Illinois differently or with less respect than we treat another,' Harris said.

A PPP poll released December 6 suggested Harris is right. Forty-seven percent of Illinois voters favor marriage equality, the poll said, as opposed to 42% who oppose it.

Among voters under age 45, 58% are in favor of equality, with only 37% against it. Black voters supported same-sex marriage by 60% to a mere 16% opposed, PPP said. Latinos supported Illinois marriage equality by a 70% to 23% margin.

White voters lag behind people of color in supporting equality, with only 40% in favor and 51% against.

Harris introduced marriage equality bills in the Illinois legislature in 2007, 2009, and 2012. When the 2009 bill failed to advance to an up-or-down floor vote, Democrats substituted a civil unions bill, which ultimately passed in 2010 and went into effect in June 2011.

Quinn became governor in 2009 when Rod Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office. He was elected to a full term in 2010 as an advocate for marriage equality.

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'Everyone is welcome here' - Mayor McGinn opens Seattle City Hall for same-sex marriages
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Holiday Calendar
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IN LOVING MEMORY: JOSEPH R. EISENHAUER
April 4, 1948 - December 15, 1999


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