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Op-ed: Will Illinois Be Left at the Altar — Again?

[bold][italic]Why Illinois marriage rights activists are putting the pressure on gay state lawmaker Greg Harris.[/italic][/bold] After making good progress toward enacting equal marriage rights at the start of this year, Illinois has watched as state after state — Delaware, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and now New Jersey — march past it to the marriage rights altar. Illinois is increasingly looking like a bumpkin state. This isn't for lack of popular support for marriage equality here. Illinoisans support the equal marriage rights bill by a nearly 2-to-1 ratio, according to a February Crain's Chicago Business poll. The Democrats, who claim to support equal rights for LGBTs, have a virtual lock on the statehouse, with big majorities in each house, the governorship, and most other statewide offices. To the consternation of old-line Republican business leaders, the Tea Partiers have made the statewide Republican Party a joke, at least so far as regaining real power is concerned. Their fulminations against women, gays, immigrants, labor, and virtually everyone else have made winning control of the powerful House and Senate a virtual impossibility in the short term. With such near-total power for statehouse Democrats, their failure to pass the marriage equality bill stands out in sharp relief. So what's the hold-up for marriage equality in Illinois? . . .


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