A Republican lawmaker who had hoped to strike Illinois' marriage equality law from the books is abandoning his quest after a federal judge ruled same-sex couples in the state's largest county needn't wait any longer for marriage licenses.
State Sen. Kyle McCarter, of downstate Vandalia, said in a Friday statement he was withdrawing legislation he introduced last month that would have repealed the marriage law, which was signed into law last fall with an effective date of June 1.
Still, McCarter made it very clear he remains strongly opposed to the same-sex marriage law and the Friday ruling on Cook County, writing in his statement that "given the level of influence and corruption we have witnessed by the well-connected and special interest groups in recent years, I am not convinced the will of the people was met by the original passage of [the bill].”
“The ruling is both disappointing and troubling,” McCarter continued, arguing that public hearings should have been held on the matter. “Obviously disappointing because of the radical change to our culture that the same-sex marriage law ushers in and the fact citizens in general were given no adequate voice in the decision-making."
According to Chicago Pride, McCarter's legislation had been scheduled for a Wednesday debate in the Illinois Senate Executive Committee prior to its withdrawal.
Meanwhile, LGBT advocacy group Equality Illinois is calling on other counties in the state to follow Cook County's lead and also allow same-sex marriages prior to June 1.
"We will be reaching out to county clerks all around the state hoping that they will also be persuaded by the judge's rationale. After all, the federal court said that it is unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples marriage licenses," the group said in a Sunday news release.
Prior to the Friday ruling, some Illinois same-sex couples with at least one partner facing a terminal illness already took advantage of the law and wed.
Forty-six same-sex couples in Chicago were wed on Friday following the late morning ruling, the Chicago Tribune reported.