Rally to encourage lawmakers to consider same-sex marriage

Published 10/22 2013 12:01PM

Updated 10/23 2013 11:25AM

Update: 4:52 pm, 10/22/13, Tuesday
SPRINGFIELD -- A rally outside the Capitol tries to push lawmakers into approving same-sex marriage in Illinois. Supporters hope lawmakers will approve the measure during veto session, but it's been an uphill battle since the House failed to vote on it several months ago. WCIA-3's Ashley Michels has more.

It's pretty quiet now, but earlier Tuesday, there were thousands of people here in support of marriage equality. They say they want to be here to be part of history.

"I am prepared to sign the Marriage Equality Bill into law as soon as the House of Representatives passes it."

This might be one of the first times we've seen Governor Quinn crack a smile like this in a long time. He says, even though the state's top priority is still pensions, marriage equality is a close second.

"Any time there is an issue about the rights of people, it deserves important consideration. That's exactly what we're doing at this hour."

About 5,000 people from all over the state crowded the Capitol lawn.

"Oh my god. I'm so excited."

Ashley Struck is one of them. She says she wants to help Illinois pass a marriage law because she might want to get married one day. But, right now, she can't.

"What we're doing is right the only difference is who we come home to. That's the only difference."

There's still one major hurdle to clear before same-sex couples can marry in Illinois; the Illinois House. It's never come up for a vote there, because the sponsor says he wants to make sure there are enough "yes" votes first. That's why this group hopes to sway lawmakers who are on the fence.

"I don't know law, but I'm pretty sure 5,000 people can change things."

Governor Quinn agrees.

"I think that's what democracy is all about; people banding together for a bill that they believe in to make it a law."

Illinois passed a law a few years ago allowing couples to enter into civil unions. That's why critics say there's no need to legalize marriage too. 14-other states already allow same-sex couples to get married.
Original: 10:08 pm, 10/21/13, Monday
SPRINGFIELD -- Lawmakers could have another issue to deal with during the veto session; same-sex marriage. More than 5,000 people could march at the Capitol Tuesday.

They say, now is the time to vote "yes," but it could get lost in the battle over pension reform. Organizers hope the rally will help. Governor Pat Quinn and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin plan to speak at the rally.

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