Ill. Gay Marriage Bill Sponsor: It Will Pass
Illinois Rep. Greg Harris is confident that the state will become the 13th in the nation to recognize marriage equality.
According to Chicago's Windy City Times, Harris predicts the state's marriage equality bill, which he sponsored, will pass by the end of the legislative session in late June.
"When I put it up on the board, it's going to go up to win," Harris said. He added that he would "absolutely" call for a vote on the bill before spring session ends on May 31. "This issue is at the front and center of virtually every conversation going on in Springfield," Harris said.
The Advocate points out that Harris previously mentioned that he would not bring the bill to a vote in the House of Representatives unless he was positive that lawmakers would approve it. On Valentine' Day, the state Senate approved the measure and Gov. Pat Quinn promises to sign it. In fact, Quinn, a Democrat, urged lawmakers earlier this month to pass the gay marriage bill.
"Illinois passing marriage equality into law, I think, sends a great signal to the people of our state and the people of America," Quinn said. "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."
He added that he believes "it's time to vote" and "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."
Coincidently, former President Bill Clinton announced on Tuesday that he supports Illinois' gay marriage bill and also urged the state's House to approve the measure, the Washington Times notes.
"Our nation's permanent mission is to form a 'more perfect union' - deepening the meaning of freedom, broadening the reach of opportunity, strengthening the bonds of community," Clinton said in a statement distributed by Freedom to Marry. "That mission has inspired and empowered us to extend rights to people previously denied them. Every time we have done that, it has strengthened our nation. Now we should do it again, in Illinois, with marriage equality."