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  WINDY CITY TIMES

IL marriage to be considered as early as tomorrow
Updated Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2013-01-02

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[UPDATE: Most recent coverage of the marriage bill, 8:15 p.m. 2013-01-03, at the link:

www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Illinois-marriage-bill-stalled-pushed-to-next-general-assembly/41040.html. ]

UPDATE, Springfield, IL, 5 pm Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013: The marriage equality bill is stalled right now. The bill was not posted on time, based on a 24-hour advance requirement. The Senate could have waived this, but there is push-back on the bill. As it stands, the bill may be in the Senate committee Thursday or Friday morning.

Years of pushing by marriage equality advocates in Illinois, could result in movement as soon as tomorrow.

The Senate will be in session Wednesday afternoon, and LGBT leaders say that a vote on a bill seeking gay marriage is likely to come sooner rather than later.

Sen. Heather Steans tells Windy City Times that she wants to see a vote on Thursday.

"Contact your legislators," Steans said.

Steans said the bill should be in committee tomorrow evening by 5:30 p.m. She intends to call the bill to a vote on Thursday, she said.

But anything is possible, she added. Several lawmakers have been on vacation for the holidays, and absences may delay a vote.

Both the House and Senate have until Jan. 9, when new legislators are sworn in, to pass a bill. Failing that deadline, LGBT supporters would have to begin lobbying efforts with a fresh set of lawmakers next session. Still, they would be doing so with a Democratic supermajority.

But Steans has indicated to local media that she believes the votes are close and that she hopes to pass the bill in the Senate so that it can be sent on to the House early next week.

That has LGBT rights activists traveling to Springfield tomorrow to lobby for the bill.

LGBT activists and pro-gay lawmakers are urging supports to call their legislators immediately, regardless of their stance, and ask them to support the bill.

Windy City Times will continue to update our marriage coverage throughout the week. Check back for updates.

Additional News Release, Jan. 2:

IL Senate to hear testimony from marriage case clients on Freedom to Marry Bill; Mercedes Santos and Theresa Volpe of Chicago head to Springfield

(Springfield, IL, January 2, 2013) - At a hearing today of the Illinois Senate Executive Committee, Lambda Legal clients Mercedes Santos and Theresa Volpe along with their two children will testify about why having the freedom to marry is important to their family.

Who: Mercedes Santos and Theresa Volpe - Watch their video here: www.youtube.com/watch .

What: Illinois Senate Executive Hearing

Where: Capitol Room 212

When: Hearing begins at approximately 5:30 p.m.

The testimony provided by the couple will be available on Lambda Legal's website at the time of the hearing.

Volpe and Santos are one of 16 couples represented by Lambda Legal in a lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry that was filed on May 30, 2012. Together, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois each filed lawsuits representing a total of 25 same-sex couples from across the state of Illinois seeking the freedom to marry. Two days later, the Illinois Attorney General's office filed papers agreeing that barring same-sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional. The Cook County Clerk and States Attorney also agree that the marriage ban is unconstitutional.

For more information about Lambda Legal's case, Darby v. Orr, visit the case page at www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/darby-v-orr or to learn more about Lambda Legal's ILove marriage campaign visit: www.lambdalegal.org/ilove .

Camilla Taylor, National Marriage Project Director and Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal's Midwest Regional Office are handling the case Darby v. Orr for Lambda Legal. They are joined by Emily Nicklin, Jordan M. Heinz and Amy Crawford of Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago.

Also see

Cardinal George calls on parishioners to oppose gay marriage, Jan. 1, 2013, at the link:

www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Cardinal-George-calls-on-parishioners-to-oppose-gay-marriage-/40989.html .

How do your Senators stack up on marriage, Jan. 1, 2013:

www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/How-do-your-Senators-stack-up-on-marriage/40988.html .


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