Gay Marriage Bill Stalls in Illinois Legislature

Illinois legislature at work

Evidently, the Illinois legislation to change the legal definition of marriage to allow gay marriages has stalled in the Senate.

According to the story below, the session adjourns Wednesday, January 9. Assuming that the bill stays stalled, the measure will not be heard this year. The story implies that the bill would have passed if all members of the Senate had been present.

I’ve been through more of these legislative throw downs than I can remember. Based on what I’ve experienced I would guess that there was so much pressure on both sides of the question from constituents in the various legislators’ districts that they decided they would lose support, no matter how they voted. So, they worked together to keep the bill from coming to a vote. If that happened, the real action was behind closed doors and between the legislators, who will never tell anyone outside exactly what took place.

As I said, I’m just guessing. But it is an educated guess.

The EWTN story about this situation says in part:

An Illinois bill to redefine marriage came to a halt in the last days of the legislative session, leading marriage advocates to criticize the notion that “gay marriage” is inevitable.

“This is a tremendous victory for the grassroots in Illinois,” said National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown on Jan. 4.

“Thousands of people of faith telephoned, emailed and wrote to Senators to oppose the redefinition of marriage,” he explained. “They overcome the machine that so often rules in Illinois politics, and they showed that nothing is inevitable about same-sex ‘marriage.’”

Brown praised the Illinois Senate for “resisting the push of political activists to redefine marriage and to impose a same-sex ‘marriage’ scheme on the people of Illinois.”

Illinois State Sen. Heather Steans and State Rep. Greg Harris, both Chicago Democrats, tried to pass the “gay marriage” bill before the Jan. 9 end of the legislative session. It passed a Senate committee but lacked support to pass the Senate and was not brought to the floor, the Associated Press reported.

The failure was in part due to the absence of three senators due to family commitments. Supporters of the bill said the votes of the missing lawmakers – Republican Suzi Schmidt and Democrats Jeffrey Schoenberg and James Clayborne – were critical.

Brown said the Republican Senate Caucus “stood firm against redefining marriage” while “several stalwart and principled Democrats” also opposed the bill.

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  • Bill S

    There seem to be two entirely different paths for securing equal marriage rights for same sex couples. One is legislative and the other is judicial. Within the legislative approach there are also two paths. In some states like Illinois, the legislature acts on its own. In other states, the question goes out as a referendum where the voters decide either for or against SSM and on the definition of marriage.

    It would appear to me that the question of SSM should not come down to a popularity contest. I think it should be decided by the courts, which it will this year. If it is not a strict constitutional right, then voters and/or legislators should decide to make it legal or illegal in their states. If it is a constitutional right, then the voting and legislating is redundant.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      You may be overstating what will happen the Supreme Court. I hope, for the stability of the country as much as anything else, that the Court rules in a conservative manner that does not involve sweeping changes in this regard. If they make a sweeping decision either way, I fear that it will set us on a protracted Constitutional firestorm similar to what happened with Roe v Wade. Let the system work.

    • Frank

      It’s not a constitutional right as the courts will affirm.

      • Sven

        “Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival.”
        ~unanimous decision in Loving v. Virginia