Ill. Gov. Urges House to Approve Marriage Equality Bill
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn urged lawmakers on Thursday to approve a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage by redefining marriage as the union of two people, instead of a man and a woman, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Although the Illinois Senate passed the bill on Valentine's Day and a House committee approved the measure, the full House has yet to act and vote on the bill. Quinn, however, said he believes that there are enough votes to get the measure to his desk.
"Illinois passing marriage equality into law, I think, sends a great signal to the people of our state and the people of America," Quinn, a Democrat, said, according to the Sun-Times. "So, it's important that Illinois and the House of Representatives get moving. I believe a majority exists to get this bill passed through the House onto my desk so I can sign it into law."
Quinn's comments come just after Rhode Island and Delaware both passed bills that legalized gay marriage. Minnesota is currently poised to become the 12th state to recognize same-sex marriage.
"I think, you know, it's time to vote," Quinn said. "We've waited now three months, and it's, I think, plenty of time for people to reflect on it. And now it's time to pass it."
Though the marriage equality bill stands a good chance of becoming law, there are still those who strongly oppose the measure. ABC Chicago reports that a coalition of African-American faith leaders have teamed up with Cardinal Francis George and Chicago's Catholic Archdiocese in stopping the bill. The National Organization of Marriage, also helped fund a recent anti-gay marriage robo-call campaign voiced by former state senator and minister James Meeks, the Southtown Star notes.
Nevertheless, the bill's champion in the House, Democratic Rep. Greg Harris, said the measure is "now very close" to passing.
"In the last couple months we have seen the voters of three different states vote for marriage at the ballot box and in the last week we saw two other states, and probably a third today, where the legislature said that treating people equally is the right American thing to do," Harris said, according to On Top Magazine. "Now the eyes of the country are on Illinois to see if we are going to do the right thing."