Could Gay Marriage Become Legal in Illinois?
State Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, hugs Daphne Scott-Henderson after passage of the gay marriage bill out of the House Executive Committee Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 to the floor at the State Capitol in Springfield.
Gay marriage advocates in Illinois are celebrating this week. Late Tuesday night, the Illinois House Executive Committee passed SB10, the Senate-approved gay marriage bill, for consideration to the full house. The final vote in the Illinois House has been rumored to be around March 6 or 7 (update 3/11: Kate Sosin of the Windy City Times reports that the vote could happen any day). If that passes, Gov. Quinn has said he will sign the bill, making Illinois the tenth state in the nation to approve gay marriage.
But that’s a big “if.” The bill needs 60 votes in the House to pass, and the House leadership has been very upfront about the fact that this will be a very tight vote. Marriage advocates should already be concerned after the executive committee vote. The bill passed 6-5, with Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson, one of the representatives who voted for civil unions in 2010, voting no. Rep. Luis Arroyo, another civil union supporter, says he will vote no on the bill as currently written (he has religious objections).
So where does that leave the bill? We ran down the numbers and did our best to get a sense of where everyone is. We’ve also included links if a representative has indicated how they will vote on the record. If we missed something, let us know!
Definite yes: 14
These are the bill sponsors, so they're a sure bet for support.
- Rep. Greg Harris (D-13)
- Ann Williams (D-11)
- Barbara Flynn Currie (D-25)
- Christian L Mitchell (D-26)
- Cynthia Soto (D-04)
- Daniel J. Burke (D-01)
- Deborah Mell (D-40)
- Kelly M. Cassidy (D-14)
- Lou Lang (D-16)
- Naomi D. Jakobsson (D-103)
- Robert F Martwick (D-19)
- Robyn Gabel (D-18)
- Sam Yingling (D-62)
- Sara Feigenholtz (D-12)
Likely yes: 29
These are the people who voted for civil unions in 2010 and are still in the legislature, have been elected since civil unions passed and have been endorsed by Equality Illinois (EQIL), or have indicated support on the record.
- Al Riley (D-38): voted for civil unions
- Andre Thapedi (D-32): voted for civil unions
- Arthur Turner (D-09): voted for civil unions
- Camille Y. Lilly (D-78): voted for civil unions
- Carol Sente (D-59): voted for civil unions
- Edward Acevedo (D-02): voted for civil unions
- Elaine Nekritz (D-57): voted for civil unions
- Elgie Sims (D-34): endorsed by EQIL
- Elizabeth Hernandez (D-24): voted for civil unions
- Emily McAsey (D-85): voted for civil unions
- Emmanuel Chris Welch (D-07): endorsed by EQIL
- Esther Golar (D-06): voted for civil unions
- Fred Crespo (D-44): voted for civil unions
- Jehan Gordon (D-92): voted for civil unions
- Keith Farnham (D-43): voted for civil unions
- Kenneth Dunkin (D-05): voted for civil unions
- LaShawn Ford (D-08): voted for civil unions
- Laura Fine (D-17): endorsed by EQIL
- Maria Antonia Berrios (D-39): voted for civil unions
- Martin J. Moylan (D-55): endorsed by EQIL
- Mary E. Flowers (D-31): voted for civil unions
- Michael J. Zalewski (D-23): voted for civil unions
- Michael Madigan (D-22): House Speaker, voted for civil unions
- Mike Smiddy (D-71): Smiddy told the Quad City Times he will sign up to be a co-sponsor as soon as the bill advances to the floor.
- Monique D. Davis (D-27): voted for civil unions
- Robert Rita (D-28): voted for civil unions
- Scott Drury (D-58): endorsed by EQIL
- Thaddeus Jones (D-29): Jones told the NWI Times he will support the bill.
- William Davis (D-30): voted for civil unions
These are the representatives who have indicated past support for gay rights or have been purposefully vague when discussing the issue.
- Anthony DeLuca (D-80): He voted for civil unions and was endorsed by EQIL, but two years ago he said he would be a no vote on an eventual bill.
- Deborah Conroy: per this report from the Daily Herald, Conroy could possibly vote yes depending on exceptions for religion.
- Derrick Smith (D-10): The indicted, expelled representative was elected back into office in 2012. He voted for civil unions in the past, so if he is present to vote, he may be a yes.
- Eddie Lee Jackson (D-114): Jackson voted against the bill in committee, but since he voted for civil unions in 2010, we are leaving him in toss-up.
- Frances Ann Hurley (D-35): Hurley told the Sun-Times she was "leaning toward yes."
- Jack D. Franks (D-63): Franks, who voted for civil unions, refused to give his opinion in January, but said the state should concentrate on pensions first.
- Jay Hoffman (D-113): He voted for civil unions, but in the last election said he would oppose gay marriage.
- Kathleen Willis (D-77): Willis defeated incumbent Paul Saviano, a likely yes vote, in this past election, mostly with the help of Speaker Madigan. She may owe him a favor.
- Kelly Burke (D-36): Burke was elected after the civil unions vote. She’s said she hasn’t made up her mind yet.
- Lawrence M. Walsh, Jr. (D-86): While he’s weighing what his constituents want, Walsh, who was elected after the civil union vote, said he would not have a problem legalizing it.
- Luis Arroyo (D-03): Arroyo voted for civil unions, but mentioned in the executive committee that he could only vote for the bill if the religious exceptions were made stronger.
- Marcus C. Evans, Jr. (D-33): Evans, who was elected in 2012, hasn't taken a public position. However, he represents the 33rd District, previously represented by Marlow Colvin, who voted for civil unions.
- Michelle Mussman (D-56): Mussman avoided answering in her Daily Herald questionnaire.
- Natalie Manley (D-98): Manley avoided answering a question about this during the most recent election.
- Pam Roth (R-75): Roth has said she sees gay marriage as an equality issue.
- Rita Mayfield (D-60): Mayfield voted present on civil unions, and has said she has mixed emotions on the issue.
- Ron Sandack (R-81): In one of the most interesting developments, Sandack has been dropping hints he may support gay marriage, despite saying in the 2012 election that he did not want to move past civil unions. Back in January, Sandack tweeted a cryptic message in which he said people should be listening to Illinois GOP chair Pat Brady, who came out in support of gay marriage. It's gotten serious enough for the Illinois Family PAC to start robo-calling Sandack's district to tell his constituents that the representative is planning on voting for the bill.
- Silvana Tabares (D-21): Tabares was elected in 2012. She has not taken a position on marriage, but did tell the Sun-Times that she believes in civil unions.
- Stephanie A. Kifowit (D-84): Kifowit expressed support for civil unions and said she believes “everyone should enjoy the same civil rights.”
- Sue Scherer (R-96): Scherer was not in office during the civil unions vote. She has said she thinks civil unions need time to “go through the system” before enacting marriage.
Likely no: 37
That’s the number of representatives who voted no on civil unions in 2010 and who remain in the house, as well as the representatives who have been elected since 2010 and have stated their views on the record.
- Barbara Wheeler (R-64): Wheeler told the Daily Herald that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.
- C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-100): Davidsmeyer was appointed to the seat in December to fill out the term of retiring Rep. Jim Watson. Watson voted against civil unions, so Davidsmeyer may follow suit for marriage.
- Chad Hays (R-104): Hays has not stated his opinion on marriage. He was not endorsed by EQIL, nor was he recommended by the Illinois Family Action PAC. He was elected to replace the retiring Bill Black, one of the Republicans who voted for civil unions.
- Charles E. Jefferson (D-67): voted against civil unions
- Charles E. Meier (R-108): He is opposed to gay marriage, according to the Belleville News-Democrat
- Dan Brady (R-105): voted against civil unions
- Daniel V. Beiser (D-111): voted against civil unions
- Darlene J. Senger (R-41): voted against civil unions
- David McSweeney (R-52): in a Daily Herald candidate profile, he said "marriage should be limited to that between a man and a woman."
- David R. Leitch (R-73): voted against civil unions
- Dennis Reboletti (R-45): voted against civil unions
- Donald L. Moffitt (R-74): voted against civil unions
- Ed Sullivan, Jr. (R-51): voted against civil unions
- Frank J. Mautino (D-76): voted against civil unions
- Jeanne M Ives (D-42): Ives said last year she is "not in favor of gay marriage."
- Jerry Costello II (D-116): Saba Hamid of NBC Chicago reported that Costello is against same-sex marriage.
- Jim Durkin (R-82): voted against civil unions
- Jim Sacia (R-89): voted against civil unions
- Joe Sosnowski (R-69): A member of the executive committee, Sosnowski voted no to advance the bill to the floor. The Rockford-based My Stateline reported a statement from Sosnowski's office in which the representative said, "I believe that the definition of marriage is between one man and one woman."
- John E. Bradley (D-117): voted against civil unions
- John C. D'Amico (D-15): voted against civil unions
- Josh Harms (R-106): The Pontiac Daily Leader reported that Harms believes marriage should be between a man and a woman.
- Katherine Cloonen (D-79): Last fall, the Daily Journal reported that Cloonen was opposed to gay marriage.
- Kay Hatcher (R-50): voted against civil unions
- Linda Chapa LaVia (D-83): voted against civil unions
- Michael P. McAuliffe (R-20): voted against civil unions
- Michael W. Tryon (R-66): voted against civil unions
- Mike Fortner (R-49): voted against civil unions
- Norine Hammond (R-93): Hammond was recommended by the Illinois Family Action PAC.
- Patrick J. Verschoore (D-72): voted against civil unions
- Raymond Poe (R-99): voted against civil unions
- Renée Kosel (R-37): voted against civil unions
- Rich Brauer (R-87): voted against civil unions
- Sandra M. Pihos (R-48): voted against civil unions
- Timothy L. Schmitz (R-65): voted against civil unions
- Tom Demmer (R-90): Demmer opposes gay marriage, according to the Daily Chronicle.
- Tom Cross (R-97): voted against civil unions
Definite no: 18
This is a list of every representative who sponsored last summer’s Defense of Marriage bill.
- Adam Brown (R-102)
- Bill Mitchell (R-101)
- Brad Halbrook (R-110)
- Brandon W. Phelps (D-118)
- David Harris (R-53)
- David Reis (R-109)
- Dwight Kay (R-112)
- Jil Tracy (R-94)
- JoAnn D. Osmond (R-61)
- John M. Cabello (D-68)
- John Cavaletto (R-107)
- Keith P. Sommer (R-88)
- Michael D. Unes (R-91)
- Mike Bost (R-115)
- Patricia R. Bellock (R-47)
- Robert W. Pritchard (R-70)
- Thomas Morrison (R-54)
- Wayne Rosenthal (R-95)
Needless to say, the vote really will be very tight. We'll update this list if more public statements become available,
Photograph: Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune