February 26, 2013
Some late breaking news out of Illinois tonight, where the House Executive Committee voted 6-5 in favor of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness act. The bill will now continue to a full floor vote in the House, having already passed the state Senate on Valentine’s Day.
As the Windy City Times reported, the committee vote was greatly delayed due to a long debate over a concealed carry amendment. The marriage bill hearing was originally scheduled for 3:00 p.m., but did not take place until much later, around 10 p.m. The vote to advance the bill happened about an hour and a half later.
All six representatives who voted yes on the bill were Democrats. The committee’s four Republicans voted in lockstep against the bill, and were joined by one Democrat, Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson, Sr. One of the Democrats who voted yes, Luis Arroyo, said that he would support moving the bill out of committee to allow it a floor vote, but will likely vote against it when the full House considers it.
Advocates are cautious about the bill’s chances before the full House. If it is passed, it will go to marriage equality supporter Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk for his signature. A floor vote could take place as soon as Friday, but is more likely to occur next week at the earliest.
UPDATE (11:00 a.m. 2/27): (h/t Bryce from DC and KS): The Windy City Times has a great piece that shows where each member of the Illinois House currently stands on marriage equality and how to contact those on the fence. If you or your friends and family live in Illinois, now is the time to get in touch!