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Petition passed to ban politicians from parade

SPRINGFIELD -- Some gay rights advocates are calling on organizers of Chicago's Gay Pride Parade to ban state representatives from attending.
SPRINGFIELD -- Some gay rights advocates and allies are calling on organizers of Chicago's Gay Pride Parade to ban state representatives from attending Chicago's 44th Annual gay Pride Parade. It comes after the Illinois House didn't vote on same-sex marriage last week. WCIA-3's Alexandrea Davis keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

Illinois state representatives, both for and against same-sex marriage, are getting blasted by petitioners on change.org. More than 1,500 people signed a petition to ban them from the parade.

But, Kerry Poynter, who's the director of LGBTQA at UIS says he's conflicted on the matter.

"I think that perhaps banning lawmakers who have publicly said they want to wait to sign a bill may not be in the best interest. I would say if there are lawmakers that have not publicly said they are going to sign the bill, then yeah, ban them."

Poynter says he felt disappointed when the House didn't call the same-sex marriage bill for a vote during the final hours of spring session Friday. But, the bill's sponsor, Rep. Greg Harris (D-CHICAGO) says he believes he was doing what's best for the future of the bill.

"This isn't the long game. Fighting for equality in the country is the long game. This will not be the only vote we will take. This will not be the only issue we will confront."

He says his reasons are valid.

"If we were to end up one vote short, then perhaps 20 or 30 people would have dropped off saying, 'oh my goodness, if this is going to pass, we don't want to be on it.' And then it would have appeared that this piece of legislation had far less support than it really had."

Still, petitioners argue their indecision denies equality and lawmakers shouldn't be given a platform at the parade. Harris says his Marriage Fairness Bill could come up for a vote during the fall veto session.

No word whether Chicago Pride organizers will follow through with a ban. The parade is June 30.
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