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Hundreds rally at the Capitol
Tue October 22, 2013
Gay Marriage Supporters "March On Springfield"
Rain didn't stop advocates for same-sex marriage, who rallied under umbrellas by the hundreds in front of the Illinois Capitol today. A measure to legalize same-sex marriage passed the state Senate earlier this year, but has stalled in the Illinois House.
Illinois Public Radio’s Amanda Vinicky says there were two types of headliners at the rally. First, celebrities such as Marcus Terell of "America's Got Talent" fame entertained the crowd.
And political headliners, including the governor, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, and state Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.
"You know what? It's a basic American right that we can marry who we want to marry. And that's just a fact of life."
Still, there's no definitive sign the measure's sponsor, Representative Greg Harris, has the necessary 60 votes.
"Every day there are families across Illinois who are being harmed, so the sooner we get this done, the better."
But Harris wouldn't say if "sooner" means during the current fall veto session. He held off calling the measure for a vote in the spring because he wasn't sure he had enough support for it to pass.
Meanwhile, the pro-marriage rally is not going unchallenged. Wednesday, the Illinois Family Institute and several religious organizations will hold their own rally in Springfield. They'll hoping to encourage lawmakers NOT to support same-sex marriage.
The Institute’s David Smith says he’s encouraged the Democratically-controlled legislature hasn’t approved the legislation, but he worries that might change.
“Marriage is one man, one woman, raising the next generation of healthy productive children for the future, and you know the legislature should be promoting and encouraging that, not redefining it.”
House Speaker Michael Madigan has said about a dozen votes are still needed to send the same-sex marriage bill to Governor Pat Quinn, who says he’ll sign it into law.