House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) acted quickly and quietly on Friday night before the House adjourned was able to get the Illinois same-sex marriage bill deadline date for approval extended until August 31.
State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) told a packed House chamber on Friday evening that he had to put off a vote on the proposal until November. However, were Governor Pat Quinn to call lawmakers back to Springfield in the summer for a special session to address pension reform, which also was left without resolution, he could include Senate Bill 10 in a special session proclamation.
If Quinn declines to include marriage equality in any order to lawmakers to return to Springfield, Madigan could call a House special session of his own at the same time to take up the legislation, an insider noted.
A deadline extension by itself resolves none of the political problems associated with the bill’s opponents, or the current bickering within the LGBT community about exactly whose fault it was that the bill failed. But it may get LGBT advocates to stop the current “blame game” they are playing now and give them an incentive to lobby hard and resolve their issues before the summer’s end.
There’s still a chance.