Marriage Equality Update: Illinois and Rhode Island
In the fight for marriage equality, two states have bills moving through their legislatures and are poised to to be the next jurisdictions to approve same-sex marriage this year, pending court challenges.
Illinois: The state Senate approved a marriage equality bill 34-21 on February 14, setting the stage for a vote in the Illinois House, which has not yet set a date for taking up the legislation. Lobbying on both sides is well underway, with sports legends lending their support and the GOP party chairman feeling pressure for backing the bill. Gov. Pat Quinn (D) has promised to sign the bill if it passes the legislature.
Rhode Island: A recent poll found 60% supporting same-sex marriage as a bill makes its way through the legislature. In January, the state House overwhelmingly passed the measure 51-19, sending it to the Senate, which will take it up this spring. The vote there is expected to be razor-thin, and fast and furious lobbying is ongoing. Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) is a vocal supporter of marriage equality.