The coalition of organizations working pass equal marriage in Illinois has announced plans to restructure after a push to pass equal marriage by the end of this year's spring session fell short May 31.
Illinois Unites for Marriagea coalition headed by Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Unions of Illinois and Equality Illinoiswill hire a full-time campaign manager and expand its field team.
The announcement comes after weeks of coalition meetings addressing the Illinois House's failure to vote on equal marriage by session's end May 31.
"The frustration and disappointment felt across the state when the marriage bill was not called for a vote has been channeled into refocused work and dedication at Illinois Unites to win the freedom to marry," said Jim Bennett, a chair of the Illinois Unites coalition, in a statement. "Not only is marriage for same-sex couples coming to Illinois, it will arrive with a strong bedrock of LGBT and allied organizations ready to support all those who wish to marry the person they love."
Among reported issues within the coalition was a perceived lack of collaboration with LGBT leaders of color.
The coalition, which contains several prominent LGBT groups representing communities of color, will include more of its members at regular meetings, the coalition said. Citizen Action Illinois, The Human Rights Campaign, the Chicago Urban League, Freedom to Marry and The Civil Rights Agenda will be among the groups at the table.
The coalition is also kicking off a search for a campaign manager and adding to its organizing team. That team will be working within target districts, adding to the number of door knocks and calls to those areas.
Finally, the group has committed to holding nine public meetings throughout the state by mid-July.
Alongside that news was a separate announcement from Equality Illinois, which is launching a "Fight Back for Marriage" campaign, aimed at putting pro-LGBT lawmakers into office and educating Illinoisans about marriage equality. The campaign commits $.5 million to supportive candidates and education for 2014.
Half the funds will go into political campaigns, while the other half will go to opposing anti-gay advocacy.
"No opponents of marriage equality can be sure that their re-election campaigns will be easy next year," said Jeremy Gottschalk, chair of Equality Illinois PAC board of directors, in a statement.
Groups in the Illinois Unites for Marriage Coalition include:
Affinity Community Services
African American Lesbian Professionals Having a Say
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
All Saints' Justice Circle
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31
Association of Latino Men for Action (ALMA)
Anti Defamation League
Center on Halsted
Chicago Bar Association
Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus
Chicago Jobs with Justice
The Civil Rights Agenda
Community Alliance and Action Network (CAAN)
Decalogue Society of Lawyers
Family Equality Council
Freedom to Marry
Gay and Lesbian Association of Decatur (GLAD)
Howard Brown Health Center
Human Rights Campaign
Illinois Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics
Illinois Department of Human Rights
Illinois Federation of Teachers
Illinois Psychological Association
Illinois Safe Schools Alliance
Illinois State Bar Association
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago (LAGBAC)
Marriage Equality USA
Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) - Midwest Regional Office
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) - Illinois Chapter
National Museum of Mexican Fine Art
National Organization for Women (NOW)
Peace and Justice Committee of the Episcopal Diocese Chicago
PFLAG Northern Illinois Council (14 Chapters)
Prairie Pride Coalition
Public Pride Alliance
Quad Citians Affirming Diversity
Rainbow Cafe of Carbondale
ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare IL and IN
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73
The Shaw Law Group — Jennifer A. Shaw, P.C.
Test Positive Awareness Network (TPAN)
UE Western Region
UNITE HERE, Local 1
The UP Center of Champaign County
Youth Pride Services