CHICAGO (CBS) — The state lawmaker who has served as chief sponsor of proposed same-sex marriage legislation said he has no intention of stepping aside as sponsor, despite pressure from prominent voices in the gay community over his decision not to call the issue to a vote last week.
On Friday, State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) tearfully told the Illinois House he would not call for a vote on the same-sex marriage bill, explaining he didn’t have the 60 votes needed to pass it, despite weeks of lobbying his colleagues. He said some lawmakers had asked for more time to gauge their constituents’ support.
“Some of my colleagues asked if they could have some time over the summer to go back and reinforce the message of equality with their constituents, and I think that’s the right thing to do,” Harris said this weekend. “They said there’s been a lot of pushback. They need to just communicate why this is the right thing to do.”
WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports the gay newspaper the Windy City Times called the fizzling of the same-sex marriage bill a “historic failure,” and said Harris should bow out as the legislation’s sponsor.
“The biggest blame has to be placed on the chief sponsor of the marriage equality bill in the Illinois House, Rep. Greg Harris, an openly gay man. If you are out front for the credit when there is victory, you are also out front for the failure. The bill stops there,” publisher Tracy Baim wrote.