In the wake of movement by Washington, New Jersey, and Maryland, Illinois activists are meeting with legislators to draw up plans for full marriage equality. But won't be this year.
State representatives Greg Harris, Deb Mell, Ann Williams, Kelly Cassidy, Sara Feigenholtz and Senator Heather Steans are in talks with Illinois organizations about introducing a bill that would allow same-sex partners to marry in Illinois. According to Harris, the bill will not likely be introduced until at least 2013. Harris believes the fight will be difficult, especially as anti-gay political candidates work to bolster support for upcoming presidential elections. "I do not delude myself into thinking this will be an easy process," Harris said. "But we need to take the first step." Harris and others will be working with Equality Illinois, the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, The Civil Rights Agenda, Log Cabin Republicans and the Human Rights Campaign, among others, he said. November elections will be crucial for marriage equality advocates. The entire general assembly will be up for election then.