The House in the US state of Illinois did not vote on a bill which would have legalised equal marriage, following a tense two days of speculation over whether the bill would be called at all.
Senate Bill 010 failed to be called in the House, despite pasing in the Democratic-controlled Senate on Valentine’s Day this year. The House has though voted to allow concealed weapons to be carried in restaurants.
The bill’s main sponsor Greg Harris confirmed to the House that there were not enough votes to pass the bill saying some of his colleagues “have asked for time to go back to their districts” to discuss the issue with constituents. Mr Harris said that the bill will return for a vote in the House this autumn.
Democratic Governor Pat Quinn had already indicated that he would have signed the bill, had it passed.
Representative Greg Harris, the equal marriage bill’s sponsor, had promised he would call the bill for a vote before the end of session today.
Speaking at a fundraising dinner in Chicago on Wednesday, President Obama said he hoped the bill would pass, when it is called in the House, that he “deeply supported” it, and that it was “the right thing to do”.
Marc Solomon, Freedom to Marry’s national campaign director said: “After an overwhelming victory in the Senate, today’s failure by the Illinois House is a disgrace, especially for the thousands of committed same-sex couples who want and deserve to make the ultimate vow before their friends and family and spend the rest of their lives with the person they love, protected and supported by their marriage.
“Freedom to Marry is proud to be an active partner in Illinois Unites for Marriage, and is grateful for the groups that led the effort on the ground — the ACLU, Equality Illinois, and Lambda Legal. We also deeply appreciate the leadership of lead bill sponsors in the House and Senate, Representative Greg Harris and Senator Heather Steans. Make no mistake, we will fight and make our case until all Illinois families have the freedom to marry the person they love and until the legislative vote reflects the solid majority of Illinoisans and Americans who stand for treating their neighbors the way they want to be treated.”