Illinois same-sex marriage bill stalled

Mon. April 16, 2012 8:47 AM by News Staff

state rep. greg harris at civil unions signing in jan. 2011

photo credit // anthony meade
Chicago, IL - State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) doesn't believe a marriage equality bill he pushed in February will pass in Illinois this year.

"I never say never," Harris told the Chicago Sun-Times. "[But] I don't think there will be a push before the end of this session."

Harris along with State Reps. Deb Mell (D-Chicago) and Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) filed HB 5710, a marriage equality bill in the Illinois General Assembly. It was first introduced on Feb. 8.

At that time Rick Garcia told, " will be a long, hard road and don't expect it to pass next month."

Garcia, a long-time gay rights advocate, noted the state's anti-discrimination bill took 30 years to pass and the civil union bill took 3 years to pass after Harris first introduced it in February 2007.

Harris told the Sun-Times that fiscal issues, such as Medicaid and pension programs, would take precedence as the General Assembly's spring session wraps up.

"I think this will happen," he said. "I think this is an issue whose time is really here in the near future."

Illinois' civil unions law, which took effect on June 1, 2010, will remain the law in Illinois.

Same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia.