After the historic win in three states that voted to allow same sex marriage (Maryland, Maine, Washington) of this past election season, more states are pushing harder to have the same law enacted in their respective states. Marriage equality supporters in the state of Illinois feel that a decision allowing same sex marriage could happen as soon as January.
Here’s more from the Chicago Tribune:
SPRINGFIELD — Gay marriage supporters said today they have moved to “within striking distance” of collecting enough votes to pass a bill in early January.
Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Greg Harris unveiled plans to take up the measure in the closing days of the current General Assembly before a new set of lawmakers are sworn in Jan. 9.
The legislation would allow same-sex marriage and protect the right of religious institutions to either consecrate or not consecrate such weddings, but church leaders from a variety of faiths have rallied staunch opposition.
Nine states allow gay marriage, including three states — Maine, Maryland and Washington — that approved legalizing gay marriage.
Both Steans and Harris said the ballot-box victories elsewhere last month represent a “sea change” that they are seeing among colleagues in Illinois. The two Chicago Democrats said they plan to put up the same-sex marriage bill for a vote and indicated they wouldn’t do that without believing it would pass. Still, they remained cautious.
Steans said the two “don’t want to lose the momentum” and “we want to do it now.”
Now the state of Illinois already allows civil unions of same sex couples and that may also be a reason why supporters feel that the bill could pass along with the support of President Obama and Mayor Rahm Manuel. The vote would need 60 votes from Illinois’ House representatives and 30 from the state Senate.
Would a decision like this go unchallenged by state republicans? Probably not. But maybe this has more implications. We know that the Supreme Court has decided to hear the DOMA and Prop 8 cases and the more states that allow same sex marriage could show as an evolution of the country’s beliefs.