Will Illinois become the thirteenth state to pass same-sex marriage? According to supporters, they have the votes in the Illinois House to get the bill through its final legislative hurdle. Which is good since the end of the legislative year is fast approaching.
The bill was approved of by the Senate on 14 February and a House panel passed it through in March. It also has the support of Governor Pat Quinn, but it has been a bit rough getting the votes in the House.
Jim Bennett, the Midwest director for Lambda Legal, stated “I have absolutely no doubt we’re going to be done with this by May 31. I believe that this bill is going to pass.” Rick Garcia of The Civil Rights Agenda, agrees saying “I believe we’re there. The cake is baked. We’re waiting for the icing.”
The bill requires sixty votes to pass. So far, two Republicans have voiced their support. The Democrats have a total of 71 members in the House. Part of the problem is that there are some Democrats who support same-sex marriage, but who are unwilling to vote for it due to the risk of being voted out of office. They may have changed their minds if they have been assured of financial support from the LGBT Community in the next election.
The delay of more than a year might also make things easier for them, should the vote this term.
Should Illinois pass same-sex marriage, they would become the thirteenth state to legalize it since Massachusetts became the first in 2004. They would also become the fourth state this year to pass such a law.