Today is the deadline for the passing of the marriage equality bill in the Illinois House of Representatives.,which adjourns for this legislative year tonight. Either the House votes and passes the bill, or it dies without a vote. The process will then need to start all over again next year. 12 states have already passed marriage equality, 3 in the past few weeks, and Illinois would make it 13 - if it happens.
I have written about Illinois marriage equality several times here recently. The bill allowing same-sex marriages has already passed the State Senate, and the Governor of Illinois has promised to immediately sign the bill into effect. The Democratic Party overwhelmingly controls the House of Representatives by a wide margin, 71-47 votes. 60 votes are needed for passage--but do not appear to be there yet, due to strong objection to marriage equality by conservative religious groups powerful among the Democratic party in this state.
Illinois is the fifth largest state with over 13 million people, and President Obama's home state. He is supporting the bill and has flown to Chicago, the most important city in Illinois to campaign for it. But as things stand now, we can assume that the votes for this bill are not yet there, and may go down to defeat, giving the anti-equality forces their first big victory against marriage equality this year.
This will be a suspenseful cliffhanger-- but since this is Illinois state politics, some of the toughest anywhere, we can assume that backdoor politics and horse trading (you vote for this, and you will get this and so and so) are happening right now to get to that magic 60 numbers.