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Marriage equality after Washington: New Jersey next week, Maryland in progress, Illinois to come?

Marriage equality

By Jacob Combs

Yesterday, the Washington state legislature passed a marriage equality bill, which Gov. Chris Gregoire said she will sign before Valentine’s Day.  It’s a big victory, but one that will probably not be decisive until after the election in November.

Still, events are moving apace across the country for marriage equality, and we have more to look forward to after our victories in California and Washington this week.  The legislature of New Jersey has set up votes in both chambers next week to consider that state’s marriage equality legislation: the Senate will vote on February 13 with the House voting three days later.  The bill is expected to pass, but it remains unclear whether the votes are there for the 2/3 majority required to overcome Gov. Chris Christie’s promised veto.  Republican Senator Christopher Bateman has introduced legislation that would send the issue of marriage equality to voter’s for a referendum; Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney had firmly opposed a popular vote on the issue.

Also on Wednesday, Marylanders for Marriage Equality released a video featuring clergy members who are supportive of marriage equality.  This Friday, these religious leaders will testify in the legislature in support of the state’s marriage equality bill; the legislature will also hear testimony on legislation that would amend the state’s constitution to limit marriage to heterosexual couples.

In other news, Reps. Greg Harris, Deb Mell and Kelly Cassidy, three openly gay state legislators in Illinois introduced a bill yesterday that would bring marriage equality to their state.  The bill would amend the state’s civil unions provision, which was passed into law last year, and allow couples to convert their civil unions into marriages.

 

15 Comments

  • 1. guest  |  February 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Does anybody know the likelihood of the Illinois legislature approving the new bill? for example, the Dem/Rep makeup in both chambers?

  • 2. rocketeer500  |  February 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    WOOHOO!!

    Baby steps, baby steps–that's the way to progress.

    Soon we won't be second-class citizens!!

  • 3. guest  |  February 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    ok, so apparently, there are 35 Dems/24 Reps in the Illinois state senate, and 66 Dems/52 Reps in the House.
    At first sight, it seems pretty promising. Does anyone know how conservative those Dems are?

  • 4. Sagesse  |  February 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Note to NOM… That light at the end of the tunnel? It's a train AND it's picking up steam :).

  • 5. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  February 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    You're NOT a second class citizen now rocketeer. ;-)
    You're just treated like one ;-(
    Hang in there…. WE WILL OVERCOME!!!!!!

  • 6. DaveP  |  February 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Wow, I was not expecting that. I thought Illinois was pretty far down the list of places likely to introduce marriage equality legislation. Nice surprise!

  • 7. Gregory in SLC  |  February 9, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    need a state in middle of the country other than Iowa with full equality!!

  • 8. Dizzy  |  February 9, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Exciting times for us ahead!! Cheers~

  • 9. Tim in Sonoma  |  February 10, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Nom might have to hold a bake sale just to keep up with our momentum. Keep up the hard work people!! ((hugs))

  • 10. chris from CO  |  February 10, 2012 at 7:26 am

    I'm like McDonalds "Loving it"

  • 11. Rich  |  February 10, 2012 at 10:30 am

    NOM seems to have moved into desperation mode (perhaps they always are) but the posts of late are shrill and pulling out all the stops to denigrate the judges, California, legal principle and everyone who might be on our side. Now, we learn that the 9th decision is "illicit". What a hoot. Brian is practically apoplectic in his most recent post. My guess is that money is a real issue and there is lots of despair with all the momentum working in our favor.

  • 12. Kate  |  February 10, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Precisely. What's Brian going to do for an income after all this crashes around him? I always read the NOMblogs — the hyperbole is hysterical. And it's a good way for me to be reminded that not all people are blessed with intelligence.

  • 13. allen  |  February 10, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I didn't know either, but I find the following wikipedia article helpful for seeing which blue/purple states may come sooner rather than later. Illinois is a big blue dog state to my surprise.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_states_and_blue_

  • 14. Pat  |  February 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Yes, and this analysis by Nate Silver forcasting the future of ballot initiatives in all states is also a very useful reference http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/

    According to this analysis, we should have good reasons to feel rather confident about WA and ME, while MN and IL should be very close.

  • 15. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  February 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    […] this month, three gay members of the Illinois state legislature introduced a bill that would allow for full marriage equality in the state, which legalized civil unions just […]

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