Illinois same-sex marriage bill stalled

April 15, 2012 at 2:26 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 15 (UPI) -- Illinois Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, said he doesn't believe the legislation he pushed to legalize gay marriage in the state will pass this year.

"I never say never," Harris told the Chicago Sun-Times. "[But] I don't think there will be a push before the end of this session."

Harris said reeling in Medicaid and pension programs and approving a budget will be front-and-center as the General Assembly's spring session wraps up. So there probably won't be a big push to get the gay marriage bill off the ground, he said.

In a statewide poll conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University in the fall of 2010, a third of registered voters said they supported gay marriage, the newspaper reported Sunday. At that time, the state's civil unions legislation passed with only one vote to spare in the House.

Harris, though, told the Sun-Times he's confident he'll have enough votes to pass the legislation.

"I think this will happen," he said. "I think this is an issue whose time is really here in the near future."

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