No vote Thursday on gay marriage bill

Four of five local legislators support it, according to Equality Illinois

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By Devin Rose

Staff Reporter

Four of five local legislators will reportedly vote to approve a measure that would legalize gay marriage in Illinois, says an advocacy group supporting the legislation.

According to an email from Randy Hannig, the director of public policy for Equality Illinois, state representatives LaShawn Ford, Camille Lilly and Angelo Saviano have said they will vote in support of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. Hannig said state Sen. Don Harmon has also agreed to support the legislation.

The act would make Illinois the tenth state to legalize gay marriage, according to the Chicago Tribune.

As of Wednesday, state Sen. Kimberly Lightford was still undecided. Lightford could not be reached for comment Thursday, and messages to the other legislators were not returned.

The state Senate failed to take action on the bill today, the Tribune reported. Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), a co-sponsor of the measure, told the Tribune that members were missing from the Senate, which prevented them from having the 30 votes necessary to win approval.

After the measure is approved by the full Senate, it needs to go to the House for a vote by the end of the day Jan. 8, said Mitch Locin, a spokesperson for Equality Illinois. On Jan. 9, new legislators get sworn in and the process starts over again, Locin said.

The Senate is in session for the final day on Tuesday and House members are scheduled to be in Springfield from Sunday through Tuesday.

Reader Comments

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Edwin Garcia from Oak Park  

Posted: January 5th, 2013 9:09 PM

Is anyone else concerned that supporters waved the 6 day waiting period to get the measure heard in committee? Why the special treatment for a group that just wants to be treated like everyone else? I don't get it. Just appears to be another political maneuver to get an unpopular bill passed.

Concerned from Oak Park  

Posted: January 5th, 2013 5:20 PM

Wow, sometimes I find it hard to understand the bias and ignorance in our community. Sexual differences are not a reason to condemn a group of people nor is race, religion, or color. All people should have the same rights and liberties afforded by our constitution. I am for civil unions in Illinois and I hope that the day will soon come to make it a reality.

State Priorities?  

Posted: January 5th, 2013 12:47 AM

As long as the state is at it, why not levy a $10,000,000 tax on each gay marriage license. They can then apply the tax directly to pay down the state debt! Of course the state would probably steal that money for another giveaway or other pet project that only benefits constituents who vote Democrat. Forget it.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: January 4th, 2013 5:38 PM

John, if we are going to go down this road, then you have to start asking why government is involved in recognizing marriage at all? Why not just have contract law between two (or however many individuals) and be done with it and stop all the pomp and circumstance related to being "married".

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: January 4th, 2013 5:27 PM

John my point is why does it matter if sister/sister want to get married? Or brother/sister? Or maybe I just want to be a pimp and have four or five wives? Or maybe some lady wants four or five husbands? How are those any different if we are also going to legalize gay marriage? If the desire to marry is all that matters then all consenting adults should be able to make up any definition of married. all I am asking is some consistency in logic. I know that is hard for liberals, but I try.

John C. Cody  

Posted: January 4th, 2013 4:50 PM

Uncommon, if you dont care the race of who someone matters, why do you care the gender? The slippery slope nonsense is the same argument real racists made when arguing against mixed race marriage. Make me understand the difference. Race is not a choice, and neither is sexual orientation. When did you know you were hetero? For me, it was (seriously) watching Charlie's Angels. I was aroused by seeing Cheryl Ladd as a young boy. Why wasn't it Bo Duke that aroused me sexually? Wasn't a choice!


Posted: January 4th, 2013 4:29 PM

How about more important things? Like spending less of our money and controlling costs. I'm sure every gay person first wants to make sure they have a roof over their head before worrying about getting married.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: January 4th, 2013 2:57 PM

John, I guess that means you don't have an answer to my question since you pulled the racist card? By the way, I'm black and could careless what race someone wants to marry. If you can't see the difference between same sex vs interracial then I guess there is no point in further debate. However, my question still stands. Is polygamy going to be legalized or other forms of marriage between consenting adults? Serious question that needs to be addressed.

John C. Cody  

Posted: January 4th, 2013 2:43 PM

Uncommon, the slope got slippery for you when they allowed mixed race marriages, right? The baseline should be propertied people of the same race, lest the slope get slippery, correct?

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: January 4th, 2013 1:37 PM

Question, that is my issue. Where do we draw the line. Is polygamy going to be legal too? If you have two (or three or four) consenting adults, how can we now prevent other kinds of pairings? Brother & sister? Sister and Sister? Cousins? Why are homosexuals any different? I could really careless what consenting adults do, but the slope is slippery with this one.


Posted: January 4th, 2013 1:09 PM

I notice the bill prohibits marriages between brother and brother, sister and sister, aunt and niece, and uncle and nephew, whether by blood or adoption. Since there is no risk of genetic abnormality in offspring for these pairings, why are they prohibited? Because its "icky"?


Posted: January 4th, 2013 12:03 PM

When exactly is the vote on pension reform???

Jim Kelly from Oak Park  

Posted: January 4th, 2013 9:03 AM

I urge all fair-minded citizens to contact Senator Lightford's office and urge her to support marriage equality: 217.782.8505 or leave a text message at:

Dawn from Chicago  

Posted: January 4th, 2013 8:29 AM

Thank you State Rep. LaShawn Ford, State Rep. Camille Lilly, State Rep. Saviano and Senator Harmon for voting for equality for all in marriage.

Ray Johnson from Oak Park  

Posted: January 4th, 2013 8:00 AM

I encourage residents to contact all state legislators to reinforce the need to support the bill, and if there is an undecided legislator, encourage them to vote yes for equality.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: January 3rd, 2013 9:39 PM

Happy to say that I called Senator Lightford and asked her to support this bill yesterday. It's a bit more complicated than I would like it to be, but it's about time we legalized marriage.

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