Illinois Gov. Quinn pushes strong for marriage equality bill

Tue. April 30, 2013 7:34 AM by News Staff

illinois gov. pat quinn at equality illinois gala, 2013

photo credit // anthony meade

Gov. Quinn discusses marriage equality bill with Windy City Times

Springfield, IL - Illinois lawmakers are facing increased pressure from Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to pass The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, which, if passed, would make Illinois the 10th state to allow same-sex marriage. (Editor's note: On Thursday, May 2, Rhode Island became the 10th state to approve same-sex marriage.)

"We've been talking to house members of both parties, really dozens of them," Quinn told Windy City Times. "I'm really optimistic we're within striking distance."

In an exclusive interview with the Times, Quinn discussed his approach when meeting with lawmakers and said that he wants the House to pass the bill by the end of May when the spring session ends.

"This is an epic, epic victory if we can win it," he said. "It will send a very clear message to other states in the Midwest and in our country."

The Governor said he believes they are approaching the 60 votes necessary to pass the measure - perhaps this week.

"I feel there's a very strong majority of people in Illinois in favor of marriage equality, more than ever," he said. "We've got to convert that majority of the public into majority in the House of Representatives representing the public."

Quinn also reiterated his support for the bill and discussed possible scenarios for a signing ceremony.

"We'll have to find a meaningful way to send that message to all of those who worked so hard that our democracy listens to the people," he said.

SB10 passed the House Executive Committee in a narrow 6-5 vote Feb. 26, and the full state Senate Feb. 14. A full House vote is the final hurdle before the measure reaches Quinn's desk.

"It really is an inspiring moment for our democracy that people can ban together for a cause they believe in and carry the day to win an important passage of a law that will last long after we've left this earth," commented Quinn. "But we've got to get the job done."

Read the full interview by Kate Sosin in Windy City Times

Related: Illinois Black Caucus Chair co-sponsors marriage equality bill