Today, the Illinois Legislature— both the House and the State Senate— shortly after being sworn in for the 98th General Assembly, will pass the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act for their respective chambers to legalize same-sex marriage. Last week’s lame duck session had a false start due to three pro-Marriage Equality Senators (2 Dems, 1 GOP) being absent.
It is expected to become law once it passes both houses and Gov. Pat Quinn (D) will sign it into law, making Illinois the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage. It would be the 1st Midwestern state to legalize SSM via legislative means. Just to the west/northwest, Iowa had it legalized by the Iowa Supreme Court in 2009.
Windy City Times:
Wasting no time in the fight for equal marriage in Illinois, sponsoring lawmakers will re-introduce legislation that would legalize gay marriage Wednesday.
That move comes on the same day that new lawmakers will be sworn in, the earliest possible time that sponsors could reintroduce the bill after it fell short last week.
The introduction of the bill comes after a rollercoaster week for equal marriage proponents. Sponsors had hoped to push the bill to a full vote in the final days of the General Assembly’s veto session. But an absence of three supportive Senators stalled the bill, and the clock ran out of the measure.
Sponsors Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Greg Harris have vowed to push the bill to vote as soon as they are able. LGBT leaders have stated that movement on the bill could come by early February.
Harris has predicted that marriage equality will become law in 2013.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The chief sponsors of legislation in that would legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois plan to reintroduce the bill Wednesday shortly after the start of the 98th General Assembly, according to one of its chief sponsors.
Sen. Heather Steans, a Chicago Democrat and the bill’s chief sponsor in the Senate, said Tuesday the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, will be simultaneously introduced in both the House and the Senate shortly after newly-elected lawmakers are sworn in to the legislature.
The move comes as no surprise to advocates and opponents tracking the bill, as Steans and its chief sponsor in the House, Rep. Greg Harris, previously said they will reintroduce the bill almost immediately upon the start of the new General Assembly after time ran out on efforts to bring the bill up for full vote during the 97th General Assembly’s lame duck legislative session, ending Tuesday.
In addition, Steans hopes Illinois will become the tenth state to approve the recognition of gay and lesbian marriages.
Currently, nine states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriages. Three states — Washington, Maine and Maryland — approved same-sex marriage ballot measures in the November elections.