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The vote on equal marriage in Illinois; many ask when
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2013-01-11

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With pro-gay lawmakers promising to push for marriage equality early this year, many have asked when the measure might come to a vote in Illinois.

"Theoretically, it could be as early as February," said Randy Hannig, policy director of Equality Illinois.

The General Assembly is currently out but heads back into session Feb. 5.

Sponsors of the "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act" have vowed to push the bill as soon as possible.

Some anticipated that turnover among legislators might slow the process. Marriage equality advocates tried to push the bill in the last General Assembly earlier this month.

With new lawmakers sworn in Jan. 9, LGBT groups will need to start over with counting supportive votes and talking to new lawmakers. But, Hannig said, much of that groundwork has already been laid.

"With new lawmakers that are being sworn in… we've been talking with them since the moment they announced they were running on the PAC side of things," said Hannig.

Advocates are renewing calls for LGBTs to press their state lawmakers on the measure. They have not stated when exactly they intend to move the bill but have stated confidently that the measure will pass this year.

"We want to do it in this session," said Jim Bennett, regional director for Lambda Legal Midwest. "We want to be married in 2013."


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