Illinois gay marriage legislation not dead

June 1, 2013 8:15:48 PM PDT
Protesters were out in force Saturday night in a Chicago neighborhood, the issue being gay marriage and the lack of action by Illinois lawmakers.

The gay marriage legislation is not dead, as it can still be voted on until the end of August.

But supporters of same- sex marriage are angry at inaction by lawmakers.

It's been an emotional roller coaster for the LGBT community in Illinois over the last 48 hours, which has gone from believing that gay marriage was about to become a reality to having their hopes dashed yet again.

"We don't need their tears, we need their votes," said David Neubecker.

The rainy weather was not going to keep them away. A crowd of close to 100 came out in the heart of Boystown to express their anger and heartbreak at the state legislature's decision to adjourn without bringing a gay marriage bill up for a vote.

"We were so angry, we wanted that vote," said Anthony Martinez, Civil Rights Agenda. "Even if it failed we wanted that vote."

"Every family, every couple just wants security," said Cahontas Vincent. "You want to become established, you want to have a career, you want to buy a home and to know this is the last thing you're waiting doe to complete a secure circle. It's very frustrating."

Until Friday night, Illinois was poised to become the 13th state to legalize gay marriage. Many of Saturday's speakers were in the house gallery last night, among them Lee and David Neubecker, who were to marry as soon as the bill was signed into law.

"We never would have taken the kids there, they said they had the votes," Lee Neubecker said. "The votes suddenly disappeared. Something was short circuited."

Mounting pressure from the Chicago archdiocese and the African American Clergy Coalition is believed be partially responsible for the sudden lack of votes needed to pass the bill. Bishop Larry Trotter put out a statement which reads in part"

"Pastor James Meeks, Bishop Lance Davis and I are so proud of the God fearing Black Caucus members who withstood the pressure of the LGBT forces and allowed God's word concerning marriage to remain between one man and one woman in Illinois,"

Before adjourning Friday night, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan did sign an extension, which now has August 31 as the deadline to pass the bill. If Governor Pat Quinn were to call a special summer session, the bill could be voted on then, otherwise it may have to wait until the fall.


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