Obama Urges Illinois Lawmakers To Pass Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Barack ObamaPresident Obama is encouraging Illinois lawmakers to vote in favor of marriage equality as they consider a bill in the upcoming lame-duck session in January.

“While the president does not weigh in on every measure being considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect.” White House spokesman Shin Inouye told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Were the President still in the Illinois State Legislature, he would support this measure that would treat all Illinois couples equally.”

The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, sponsored by state Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) could go up for a vote as early as next week.  While both houses of the Legislature are controlled by Democrats, resistance is expected from Republicans.

“We are working very hard to try to have the 30 and 60 votes in lame duck, so that we can call it,”Sen.  Sterns told NBC Chicago. “We still think we’re close. We’ll have a much better feel once we’re back there.

Illinois passed a civil-unions law last year, but Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, is eager to bring marriage equality to The Prairie State.