Gov. Pat Quinn (D-IL) at the 2010 Chicago Pride Parade
With Minnesota looking poised to enact marriage equality early next week, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) is getting restless. In remarks Thursday, he called for the Illinois House of Representatives to follow the state Senate’s lead and enact marriage equality.
Quinn, who endorsed same-sex marriage last May, has been personally lobbying undecided legislators and says supporters are close to the required 60 votes.
After months of delays, Quinn says it is now “time to vote.” He told reporters “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.”
The bill’s chief sponsor, Rep. Greg Harris (D) told the Chicago Tribune that while the House was first focused on a pension reform bill, he believed they were getting closer to the needed majority for his measure. “In the last couple months we have seen the voters of three different states vote for marriage equality at the ballot bot 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,” he said. “Now the eyes of the country are on Illinois to see if we are going to do the right thing.”
Recent polling showed 50 percent of Illinois voters in support of marriage equality, compared with just 29 percent in opposition. In addition to Quinn, both of the state’s U.S. Senators — Democrat Dick Durbin and Republican Mark Kirk — have endorsed equal marriage.
A source told the Chicago Phoenix that the bill currently has 58 of the necessary 60 votes for passage. The legislative session ends on May 31.