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updated: 6/3/2013 3:47 PM

Lawmakers apologize to gay marriage advocates

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  • State Rep. Greg Harris, a Chicago Democrat, pauses to regain his composure as the gallery erupts in protest Friday after he announced he wouldn't call the gay marriage bill on the House floor.

      State Rep. Greg Harris, a Chicago Democrat, pauses to regain his composure as the gallery erupts in protest Friday after he announced he wouldn't call the gay marriage bill on the House floor.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

Backers of a measure that would've legalized same-sex marriage in Illinois have written a letter to advocates saying it's not the time for them "to splinter."

Democratic state Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago decided not to call a House floor vote last week on a bill that would've made Illinois the 13th state to allow gay marriage. Harris said he didn't have the votes but vowed to bring back the issue.

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Some advocates have blasted Harris for not calling a vote.

He's among more than a dozen House members who signed the Monday letter. In it, lawmakers apologize and say that marriage equality will happen. They urge advocates to come together, assess strategy and ramp up efforts.

The bill cleared the Senate in February. Gov. Pat Quinn is in favor

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