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LGBTs to discuss grassroots strategy on marriage
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

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LGBT leaders and community members will talk about grassroots efforts to pass equal marriage in Illinois, after the House failed to vote on the measure for session's end May 31.

Community members will hold an open meeting in Uptown June 11 on the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, the state's same-sex marriage bill.

The meeting comes after sponsors failed to move the bill, citing a shortage of votes to pass it. The shortfall shocked many both the Illinois Unites for Marriage Coalition and chief sponsor Greg Harris expressed confidence that the bill would be passed before session's end.

Andy Thayer, co-founder of Gay Liberation Network, said he wants to see LGBT Illinoisans demanding their rights, rather than asking House leadership to make change for the community.

"If the last few months have demonstrated anything, it's that our rights are not inevitable, that community has to be actively involved, not just participating but directing our civil rights struggle," said Thayer. "It's not a question of persuading them to do the right thing, it's a question of forcing them to do the right thing. If you have thousands of people in the streets, that becomes an irresistible force."

Thayer said his group will propose protesting House Speaker Michael Madigan, who he said failed to put his weight behind the bill the get it passed.

The meeting will be Tuesday, June 11 at The Peoples Church, 941 W. Lawrence, at 7 p.m.

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