Marriage equality proponents in Illinois hit more delays Thursday after the absence of a number of supportive lawmakers in Springfield delayed a floor vote on same-sex marriage.
The measure, however, still saw a hearing Thursday during which the Senate Executive Committee approved it in an 8-5 vote along party lines, according to the Associated Press.
Per the Chicago Phoenix, Senate Democrats confirmed that the absence of senators due to family emergencies had left the bill's fate in a Thursday vote before the state Senate "uncertain" and ultimately delayed until possibly next week. But proponents for the bill emphasized that, despite the delay, the measure is not dead.
The Thursday delay arrived on the heels of Republican lawmakers blocking an attempt to fast-track the bill to the Senate Executive Committee Wednesday, as the vote was taken before some supportive lawmakers were present, according to the Pantagraph. Those lawmakers had been expected to be in attendance Thursday, but that was not the case.
State Sen. Heather Steans, a Chicago Democrat, previously told NBC Chicago she has enough votes for the measure to be approved by the state Senate. In a change of strategy, the gay marriage language was attached as an amendment to HB4963, a bill concerning car rentals and the Collateral Recovery Act, the Windy City Times reports.
(Scroll down for live updates on gay marriage in Illinois.)
On Wednesday, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, star of ABC's "Modern Family," lent his support to the legislation and helped launch a "Bow Tie Lobby Day." Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady also on Wednesday called on his fellow Republicans to support the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. Brady noted his efforts came as a citizen, and not as part of his official role with the Illinois Republican Party.
The bill still awaits full votes in the state Senate and the state House, which could take up the matter as early as Sunday. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has already vowed to sign the legislation.
If the bill passes, Illinois will become the 10th state in the union -- and its second-most populous to date -- to legalize gay marriage.
01/03/2013 7:31 PM EST
Chicago To Rally For Marriage Equality
A rally is being organized for Saturday in support of the marriage equality bill. It is set to begin at 12 p.m. at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph.
This is the final update to this live blog for Thursday.
01/03/2013 6:48 PM EST
The gay marriage bill still needs to be approved by both the state House of Representatives, which has been considered more conservative than the state Senate, and by the full state Senate. According to the Windy City Times, the House will convene on Jan. 6 and 7, when the bill may be considered. Then, the Senate may take up the bill on Jan. 8, the final day of the lame-duck legislative session. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has already said he will sign the bill.
01/03/2013 6:39 PM EST
Senate Floor Vote Possible On Tuesday, Lame-Duck Session's Final Day
@ davemckinney123 :
Possible floor vote TUESDAY, Steans says.
01/03/2013 6:27 PM EST
Bill Passes Out Of Committee
@ davemckinney123 :
On party-line vote, same-sex marriage bill passes Senate Exec Committee 8-5.
01/03/2013 6:21 PM EST
WATCH LIVE: Senate Executive Committee Hearing
01/03/2013 6:18 PM EST
Read The Bill Text
@ cehurley :
Read the text of the proposed gay marriage bill in Illinois http://t.co/kJGLvagm
01/03/2013 6:06 PM EST
Here Comes The Opposition
@ ILSenDems :
#SenExec now hearing from opponents of Marriage Equality leg.
01/03/2013 5:24 PM EST
Ald. Cappleman Weighs In
@ JamesCappleman :
Richard and I yearn for the privilege of marriage in Illinois. No special rights, but the same rights that others already have.
01/03/2013 5:18 PM EST
@ kylehillman :
#RogersPark #Chicago couple giving testimony supporting #ilEquality bill - citing difficulties with civil unions. #twill #lgbt
01/03/2013 5:12 PM EST
Five Hours Later..
@ christintello :
In the committee hearing for the IL equal marriage bill. Finally. Been waiting since 11:00 today
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