Gay marriage bill stalls in Illinois

A bill that would legalize gay marriage failed to come to a vote in the Illinois state House on Friday, after proponents were reportedly unable to secure enough votes to send it to Gov. Pat Quinn (D) for his signature. With the legislature adjourning, the measure will have to wait until the fall.

The state Senate previously passed the bill by a wide margin, but the votes were not there in the House, despite an unusual move by President Obama to endorse the legislation.

The legislative session came to an end Friday, but supporters of the bill say they will try to pass it when the legislature returns in the fall.

“I am disappointed that the House of Representatives in the Land of Lincoln did not pass a historic measure that would have guaranteed equal rights and benefits for all citizens," Quinn said in a statement. “This is not over. The fight goes on. We will keep on fighting until marriage equality is law in Illinois."

Illinois would have become the 13th state to legalize gay marriage.

The state legalized civil unions for gay couples two years ago, but the marriage initiative has run into opposition, led most notably by African-American and Catholic churches.

Democrats control about 60 percent of the blue state's 118-seat state House.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · May 31, 2013