The Minnesota House of Representatives is currently debating (livestream) marriage equality legislation. If and when it passes later today, Minnesota will be all but assured of becoming the 12th state and 13th jurisdiction in the United States to have enacted same-sex marriage legislation, as the votes are there in the Minnesota Senate and
Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has vowed to sign the bill, which would allow gay marriages to start happening on Aug. 1. Speaking Wednesday to reporters, Dayton underscored the magnitude of the coming votes. "It is one of those society-changing breakthrough moments... the enormity of this can't be overstated."Assuming passage today, the Senate will consider the legislation on Monday, May 13th when it comes into session at 11:00 AM.
Curiously, Minnesota may or may not have the distinction of being the largest area state to have marriage equality. That depends on what happens in the Proposition 8 case. Should the Supreme Court rule favorably, California will once again become the largest state - both in area and in population - to perform same-sex marriages, leaving Minnesota as the state with the most snow and mosquitos to believe in marriage equality.
Which brings us to Illinois. Land of Lincoln and recalcitrant House legislators.
May 8, 2013 (SPRINGFIELD, Ill.) (WLS) -- The bill to allow same-sex couples to marry needs 60 votes to the pass the Illinois House. Its sponsor says his roll call of supporters has reached the high 50s.The Illinois Senate has already passed the legislation. All it will take is for a few more House legislators to enter the 21st century. They've now watched as the entire Rhode Island Senate Republican delegation voted in favor of same-sex marriage; they've watched Delaware move swiftly and get it done; and soon they will have watched Minnesota vote in a bipartisan manner to pass their marriage equality legislation. Yet Illinois, which many thought would be the first of possibly four states to legalize same-sex marriage, is still teetering on the brink of failure.
"We're now very close and when it comes on the board it will pass," said Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago).
When the entire weight of the political structure in Illinois (the President, his former Chief of Staff and now Mayor of Chicago, the Governor, the state's Attorney General, and both US Senators - one R, one D) are in favor of this legislation we can only stop and wonder: Is something rotten in
Denmark (no, they have same-sex marriage) Illinois (beyond the famous dead of Chicago who rise to vote every election day)?
Get with it, Illinois.