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LGBT leaders to Madigan: call the bill now
Video links below
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2013-05-30

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Jim Bennett, of Illinois Unites for Marriage Coalition. Photo by Tim Carroll


LGBT organizations and families gathered outside of House Speaker Michael Madigan's office May 30, in a hastily-organized press conference to urge a vote on the state's equal marriage bill.

Sponsors have until Friday to call for a vote on the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, and LGBT groups say they are confident the bill will pass but need Madigan and chief sponsor Greg Harris to call for a vote.

"We need the freedom to marry, and we need it now," said Jim Bennett, chair of the Illinois Unites for Marriage Coalition.

"A vote has been promised, and it's time to deliver on that promise," Bennett added.

Harris previously told Windy City Times that he will "absolutely" call for a vote on the bill by the end of spring session Friday, and that it will pass.

The press conference, held against a backdrop of approximately two dozen LGBT organizers and families, aimed to put pressure on Madigan and sponsors to move the bill as the hours left to pass it dwindle.

The press conference signals a sense of urgency on the part of coalition members as mixed reports circulate in Springfield on the fate of the bill. Some have expressed concern that the bill will not come for a vote by session's end. Others have stated that a vote is expected by the day's end.

Pressed on whether the bill had the 60 votes it needs to pass, Bennett said it does.

" We're confident that if that bill is called for a vote there are enough votes to pass marriage in Illinois," Bennett said.

Also speaking at the conference were Jim Darby and Patrick Bova who will celebrate 50 years together in July as well as Theresa Volpe and Mercedes Santos.

Video of the Illinois marriage equality press conf 5-20-2013 Springfield (Part 1) below.

Part 2 to come.


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