Friday, May 10, 2013

Around The Nation

Illinois Governor Quinn calls on House to send him same-sex marriage bill
Illinois Gov. Quinn speaks with reporters
SPRINGFIELD, IL -- Illinois Democratic Governor Pat Quinn is calling on state lawmakers in the House to send him the bill that would legalise same-sex marriage saying that enough time has elapsed for their consideration of the pending legislation.
“It's time to vote,” Quinn said Thursday. “Illinois passing marriage equality into law, I think, sends a great signal to the people of our state and the people of America. So it's important to Illinois (that) the House of Representatives get going.”
Quinn's message to the Illinois House comes one day after Delaware's Governor Jack Markell signed a same-sex marriage bill into law and the same day the Minnesota House endorsed a same sex marriage bill.  The Illinois Senate had passed the measure tow months ago on February 14. Speaking with reporters at a press conference, Quinn contended that there are enough votes to pass the bill. However, the primary House sponsor,Representative Greg Harris (D-Chicago), told the Chicago Tribune that he wasn't certain when he expects to call the legislation for a vote. Harris noted the lawmakers were focused on pension reform, but said momentum continues to build in favor of same sex marriage.
“In the last couple months we have seen the voters of three different states vote for marriage equality at the ballot box and in the last week we saw two other states, and probably a third today, where the legislature said that treating people equally is the right American thing to do,” Harris said. “Now the eyes of the country are on Illinois to see if we are going to do the right thing.” 
Backers claim that they are near to achieving the necessary 60 House votes required to send the bill to Quinn, but noted they aren't willing to push the measure for the vote until they’re sure they have enough votes lined up to pass it.
As opponents of same-sex marriage continue to push to block the measure from reaching a final vote, Harris said he hopes his colleagues were paying attention to the action in other states, saying that “none of the horrible scenarios” that opponents envision have come true.
“People who were married before same sex marriage are still happy and with their families,” Harris said. “All that has occurred is that the community has been strengthened, families have been strengthened and children have found loving parents to help raise them.”