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Gay Marriage push stalls in IL Senate

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 17:29:07 CST
By: IPR's Brian Mackey

A last-minute push to legalize gay marriage fell apart today in the Illinois Capitol. Supporters in the state Senate say they're a few votes shy of getting it through. IPR's Brian Mackey reports.


The day began on a note of optimism for supporters of gay marriage. They rallied in the Statehouse, many wearing bow ties. The group included actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson from the TV comedy "Modern Family."

"All this movement forward right now. It really confirms to me that marriage equality is the defining civil rights movement of our time. And now Illinois has the chance to be on the right side of history today."

Or not. As the day wore on, it became clear that backers of gay marriage were short of the 30 votes it would take to pass the measure. Among the likely supporters, one senator was out of the country. Another's mother just died. A third has a family health issue. Bernard Cherkasov is the director of the gay-rights group Equality Illinois.

"The windows are closing a little bit on our ability to get marriage equality done right now."

A spokeswoman for the Senate president issued a statement saying it's "clear that we will need bipartisan support" for gay marriage. She says they'll "take some time" to work on the issue, and advance it "in the near future." That could be next week, or in the next legislative session.

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