Advocates of equal marriage in the US state of Illinois have sprung into action to arrange an urgent rally to push the House to vote on a bill to legalise it, before the end of the session on Friday.
Representative Greg Harris, the equal marriage bill’s sponsor, had said he would call the bill for a vote before the end of session, which is on Friday.
He also maintained that when he did call the bill for a vote, “it will pass”, but he wanted to ensure it had enough votes to do so. Having already signalled that this may be the case, pressure is mounting on Harris to call the bill.
Busses have been arranged from several towns in the state, in order to bring those who wish to rally to Springfield for 11am.
Twelve other states have legalised equal marriage in the US, and advocates are hopeful that Illinois will become the thirteenth.
“A vote has been promised and it is time to deliver on that promise,” he said. “When you look at all the politics and all the things that have happened, when it comes down to it, it is about thousands of Illinois families and their lives.”
On Thursday 14 February, the Illinois Senate, which is controlled by the Democrats, voted 34-21 to approve the measure. Prior to the Senate vote, Governor Pat Quinn had already indicated that he would sign the bill into law.
On 11 May, he said: “It’s time to vote… 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.”
As demonstrators left the House in Illinois on Thursday evening, debate around other bills went on, and there was some speculation that it could still come up.
More to follow.