Breaking News Bar
updated: 1/4/2013 5:46 AM

Same-sex marriage gets through Senate committee, but floor vote delayed

But it gets through Senate committee

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • State senators put off a floor vote on same-sex marriage Thursday.

       State senators put off a floor vote on same-sex marriage Thursday.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois Senate Democrats delayed a floor vote Thursday on legislation to make the state the 10th in the nation to legalize gay marriage, but the sponsor expressed confidence there would be enough votes to pass it soon.

After two days of snags in moving the issue, Sen. Heather Steans finally won committee approval by an 8-5 vote Thursday evening, sending the measure next to the floor.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

But when supporters would get a crack at the divisive issue there remained unclear. Democrats called off a full Senate vote earlier Thursday after Steans said two supportive Democrats and a Republican weren't present for the General Assembly's lame-duck session.

But the Chicago Democrat said the delay would only push a vote into next week or, at the latest, soon after the new Legislature is sworn in Jan. 9.

"This is definitely a question of when, not if," Steans said. "This is the right thing to be doing."

Senate Democrats hold a 35-24 majority, but party members outside Chicago don't always toe the line. Not all are on board with extending marriage rights to same-sex couples.

The postponement was another jolt in a bumpy ride for the issue this week, which began with high expectations but also fierce opposition.

Religious leaders -- including a phalanx of 1,700 clergy, from Catholic to Muslim -- united in writing lawmakers to oppose it.

Meanwhile, supporters of same-sex marriage have made a huge push in recent weeks, including Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady of St. Charles making phone calls seeking support and visits in Naperville and Springfield from "Modern Family" star Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

"I don't think the government should be in the business of telling people who can and can't get married," Brady said Thursday.

Advocates finally had something to cheer when the legislation won approval in the influential Senate Executive Committee Thursday, controlled by the Senate President, John Cullerton of Chicago. The meeting was delayed for hours as Democrats scrambled to shore up support.

One Democrat was out of the country and another had a family issue to attend, while a GOP supporter was absent because of her mother's death.

• Daily Herald State Government Writer Mike Riopell contributed to this story.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here