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Demand a Vote on Marriage Equality!

Springfield, IL October 22, 2013

Focusing on Madigan

GLN permalink 10-10-2013

With the Illinois legislature convening in some three weeks for its fall "veto session," it appears as if the stage is being set for yet another delay on the marriage equality bill until January, 2014 or even later.

Since the striking down of the federal DOMA ( Defense of Marriage Act ), Illinois' discriminatory law now more than ever keeps LGBTs from accessing numerous federal benefits accorded to married people. Any delay is both unconscionable and unnecessary.

Sounding very uncertain this time around, and leaving the door open to a vote sometime in the indefinite future, bill sponsor Greg Harris is also mum about his colleagues' alleged promises to vote for the bill this fall which he touted when he postponed the vote in May. "The key is to continually evaluate and re-evaluate," Harris said enigmatically.

The "key" is not counting heads and hidden maneuvering. The key to passage of the marriage bill is putting real heat on powerful House Speaker Mike Madigan to make it happen, rather than making excuses for him and his underlings. Every Democrat in Springfield—including Greg Harris—and every lobbyist and marriage equality organizer knows, or should know, that bills pass the House at Madigan's command.

Greg Harris, Kelly Cassidy and all House Democrats who support the marriage equality bill need to screw up their courage and publicly demand that Madigan muscle the bill through to passage. ( Now wouldn't that be a role reversal! ) Everyone on the marriage equality team needs to demand that the Speaker use his power and the nearly two-to-one Democratic majority to deliver on marriage equality in Illinois. As we work the phones and surround the capitol at the March on Springfield Oct. 22, Madigan needs to be our focus.

Gay Liberation Network


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