Illinois State Senate voted 34-21 this week to legally recognize same-sex marriage. If the legislation passes the state House and is signed by the governor, Illinois will be the 10th state to recognize gay marriage.The
Even though Democrats have a supermajority in the state House, the Chicago Tribune calls its passage “uncertain”:
As senators debated Thursday, Rep. Greg Harris, the lead House sponsor, stood among the desks on the Democratic side of the Senate chamber, sometimes adding a congratulatory slap on the back of a lawmaker who made an emotional speech.
Harris predicted success in the House but would not say whether he has lined up the necessary 60 votes to pass the measure. "I think we are very close to that," said Harris, D-Chicago, who is openly gay.
Another proponent working to round up votes in the House conceded there is still "some work to do." Gay marriage proponents also have a key ally in the House: Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, supports the bill, said spokesman Steve Brown.
Some Republican opponents are wishing Democrats would put this much effort into dealing with the state’s pension crisis. Via the Chicago Sun-Times:
But opponents slammed the Senate's Democratic leadership for allowing the gay-marriage initiative to move forward at a time when the state's financial ledgers are in ruin because of more than $95 billion in pension debt.
"The pension debt must be our No. 1 focus. You should be using the same energy and use your immense power to present a pension bill immediately," said Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Barrington Hills). "This marriage bill is a distraction, which is distracting attention from this state's top priorities."
That’s probably a bonus to the Democrats, not an unfortunate side effect. They’ve been miserable about addressing the pension crisis, but given that it’s Duffy’s own party fighting the legislation it’s a bit of an eye-rolling argument. I don’t object to obstructionist legislative behavior (even if I don’t like the particular reasons for it, as in this case), but you lose the ability to credibly argue that proposed legislation is eating up time when you’re part of the reason why.