In 2013, the state of Illinois embarked on an amazing and, at times, nail-biting journey to the historic vote for marriage equality. Once signed into law, Illinois became the 16th state with marriage equality. Windy City Times exhaustively covered this journey, highlighting the highs and lows of the struggle for the eventual marriage win. The following 2013 covers present a timeline from hope and uncertainty to Illinois' first legally married same-sex couple. Look for details soon about a Windy City Times book project about the march to marriage equality in the Land of Lincoln.
From the story: "[Rick] Garcia warned against premature celebration, and said LGBTs should not assume that the heavy lifting is done.
"'There is a good chance that the bill will be called, but don't freak out if it isn't,' Garcia said."
"Still, momentum suggests that legislators believe the bill could pass as soon as this week."
From the story: "Lawmakers will be back in session come February, and LGBT groups report that conversations with incoming lawmakers have been ongoing since before elections. Further, activists say that many who voted against civil unions in 2010, including Republicans, are showing a change of heart."
From the story: "Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda, said the bill could be heard in both houses by month's end. He said that supporters were confident of the bill's fate in committee."
"'We'd like to get it done as soon as possible,' Martinez said."
From the story: "Gov. Pat Quinn praised the Senate's passage of the bill and called on the House to do the same."
"'Couples across Illinois have even more reason today to celebrate their love for each other, thanks to the hard work of committed advocates and lawmakers,' Quinn said in a statement."
From the story: "A 'United for Marriage' coalition of national and local LGBT groups have planned a number of events and rallies for the steps of the Supreme Court building ... . The rallies are likely to enjoy a great deal of visibility on national television screens that Tuesday and Wednesday, as the high court does not provide for any live camera or web broadcast of the arguments themselves."
From the story: "I feel there's a very strong majority of people in Illinois in favor of marriage equality, more than ever. We've got to convert that majority of the public into majority in the House of Representatives representing the public." - Gov. Pat Quinn
From the story: "If the bill does not pass by month's end, sponsors will need to wait until at least until fall to push the legislation. That option, however, is not seen favorably. Representatives hold office for just two years, and campaigns are expected to heat up as the year goes on, making controversial legislation like equal marriage harder to pass with time."
From the story: "Hours leading up to the vote had been ripe with uncertainty as the spring legislative session drew towards a close May 31. With the clock ticking on the bill, LGBT organizations and families gathered outside of Madigan's office May 30, in a hastily organized press conference to urge a vote on the bill."
From the story: "I think I knew that it was an incredibly tough decision to have to make. The way the legislative system is set up, if you choose to be a sponsor of a bill, you are the one who is responsible for making those decisions in the best way you know how." - State Rep. Greg Harris
From the story: "Sponsors of the bill have called for unity in the wake of the non-vote. Cassidy, Steans, Yingling, Feigenholtz and Williams all stated on-record that they felt Harris made the best call."
"Still, sources suggest that Harris kept both his colleagues and the coalition at arm's length."
From the story: "Zero. That is the number of on-record 'yes' votes for marriage equality added since May 31."
"But LGBT leaders say that support for the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, SB10, is growing and they intend to see a vote on the bill during this fall's veto session."
From the story: "'I believe the votes are there,' Yingling said. 'There will always be excuses as to why the vote should be delayed, but the overwhelming majority of people in Illinois support marriage equality, and we need to vote on it and get it done.'"
From the story: "While LGBT groups have expressed optimism in recent weeks, that enthusiasm has been met with some skepticism by community members. Forecasts for a win in the spring proved premature, and LGBT groups have been working to rebuild momentum and trust within the community ever since."
From the story: "An afternoon-long rally featured several politicians and community leaders, each voicing their support for SB10, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, which would bring same-sex marriage equality to the state."
"Among those making an appearance were Gov. Pat Quinn and Sen. Richard Durbin, as well as Secretary of State Jesse White, who was unannounced."
From the story: "'There is no plan B. We're entirely focused on the veto session," Kohlhepp said. "We built this campaign so Greg Harris can keep his promise.'"
"'Illinois families cannot wait anymore. The Supreme Court made very clear that it has to be marriage,' Kohlhepp stressed."
From the story: "Loud cheers erupted through the state capitol Tuesday as the Illinois House voted 61-54 to enact the Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Act, which could make Illinois the 15th state to get same-sex marriage equality."
"Marriages can begin June 1, 2014."
From the story: "At the end of the day, we won. There was such a tremendous outpouring. The March on Springfield made a huge difference to my colleagueswet, cold people coming down to express their love and their faith and their commitment and their dedication to this issue." - State Rep. Greg Harris
From the story: "By court order, longtime Chicago lesbian activist Vernita Gray married Pat Ewert, her partner of five years, Nov. 27 on the city's North Side, making them the first same-sex couple to be legally married within Illinois in the state's history."
"Judge Patricia Logue, former head of Lambda Legal Midwest and a longtime lesbian activist herself, performed the ceremony in front of several dozen family and friends."
View covers in succession at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/photospreadthumbs.php .
View all covers on one page at www.windycitymediagroup.com/pdf/2013WCTCOVERS.pdf .