John M. Becker

Marriage Equality Round-Up: Illinois, UK

Filed By John M. Becker | May 20, 2013 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: England, gay marriage, Great Britain, Illinois, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, UK, United Kingdom

illinois_state_capitol.jpgAfter frustrating delays, it looks like marriage equality legislation may be able to finally move forward in Illinois and the U.K.

In Illinois, pro-LGBT lawmakers are hoping to make the Land of Lincoln the 13th state to allow same-sex couples the freedom to marry. The Illinois Senate passed a marriage equality bill on Valentine's Day, but the measure has been stalled in the House of Representatives. With just days remaining on the legislative calendar (the spring session ends on May 31), LGBT rights leaders in that state say proponents have finally secured the 60 votes required to pass the bill.

Jim Bennett, Lambda Legal's Midwest regional director, told the Windy City Times: "I have absolutely no doubt we're going to be done with this by May 31. I believe that this bill is going to pass."

Rick Garcia of the Civil Rights Agenda added, "I believe we're there. The cake is baked. We're waiting for the icing."

Rep. Greg Harris, chief sponsor of the bill, has said he wouldn't call for a vote until he knew the votes for passage were there. Pat Quinn, the state's pro-equality Democratic governor, has campaigned hard for the bill and promises to sign it into law if it reaches his desk.

uk_parliament.JPGIn the UK, an equal marriage bill has languished in Parliament as public approval of Prime Minister David Cameron has dropped sharply and dissent emerged within Cameron's Conservative Party about the wisdom of moving forward with the measure.

But today, members struck a deal allowing the equal marriage bill to proceed. Debate is scheduled for today and tomorrow (watch it live here), and the bill's third reading -- its last procedural hurdle in the House of Commons -- will happen tomorrow as well. If the body passes the bill for a final time (the last vote was 400-175, so I'm optimistic), it moves on to the House of Lords, where the BBC reports it's expected to face further opposition.

Stay tuned, folks!

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