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Marriage vote anticipated within 24 hours
Update Thursday, May 30, 7:50 p.m.
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

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UPDATE 7:50 p.m.: Most organizers have left the House gallery, vote highly unlikely tonight, still expected for Friday.

LGBT activists, advocates and community members have begun filtering into the capitol as a the deciding vote on Illinois marriage equality is expected as early as this afternoon.

Sponsors have until Friday to pass the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, which would grant equal marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Chief sponsor Greg Harris has said he will "absolutely" call for a vote on the bill by session's end May 31. He has also stated that the bill will pass.

Multiple sources connected with organizing efforts around the bill have stated that a vote is expected this afternoon, evening or early in the day on Friday. That timeline will partially depend on other business in Springfield as spring session wraps up.

Advocates with Equality Illinois, Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, The Civil Rights Agenda, Human Rights Campaign, Gay Liberation Network and other groups are already in the capitol. Sources say that the families of some reps. are also headed for Springfield.

Anti-LGBT groups not appear to be present.

The bill has already passed the Senate and Gov. Pat Quinn has vowed to sign it.

The bill has the backing from major political players including President Obama, who expressed support for the measure in Chicago this week.

"Here in Illinois, we've got a vote on same-sex marriage that's going to be coming up in the Legislature," he said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "I just want to say for the record it's something that I deeply support."

Windy City Times will continue to update with details from Springfield.

Photo: Gay Liberation Network and The Civil Rights Agenda unveiling rainbow flag during session in the Illinois House. "The time to be civil is over," said GLN's Andy Thayer. Photo courtesy of Anthony Martinez.

Live stream link here: .

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